Retiring a player’s number is the greatest honor a franchise can bestow for a club’s best players, which has only been given to two players in Rockies history. But retiring numbers should be held exclusive, but teams should find other ways to honor players that were important to the team, fans, and the city. While there is not much to want to emulate from the Denver Broncos right now, their Ring of Fame is a great way to remember former players without running out of uniform numbers, see the New York Yankees. The Ring of Fame can honor more than just players, which the Rockies already have with the KSG by the retired 17 and 33 in right field to honor the late Keli McGregor. Players, coaches, broadcasters, and executives could all be added into the Ring of Fame when appropriate.
The Rockies can have add a Ring of Fame around the lower level of Coors Field by adding players that were not necessarily Hall of Famers, but were important to the team and the fans. Think of players that were All-Stars and fan favorites, but not at the Hall of Fame level. In addition to the names around the level at the ballpark, the members could also have a section dedicated to them in the McGregor Square Rockies Hall of Fame. See the image outside of the Broncos’ stadium as an example.
What should the criteria be?
The team will need to create a committee that would be tasked with picking members into the Ring of Fame. The committee would vote every year to add members and determine if anyone, or multiple should be added. Criteria would involve being with the team for four or more years as a player or coach and have provided positive influence to the Rockies franchise or the Denver Metro community while with the club. Exceptions to this can be initial members to the club after if was founded in 1993, but still had an influence on the club’s upbringing or external factors that prevented the person from being a Rockie for four years.
Who Should Be Added to the Ring of Fame?
The original four members of the Blake Street Bombers are the first choice for the initial Ring of Fame class. Andrés Galarraga, Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, and Dante Bichette all fit the criteria and were a major part of the beginning of the young Colorado Rockies franchise. Larry Walker is already honored with his number retired after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, but the other players deserve their respect for their contribution to the young expansion team and making the playoffs for the first time in 1995. Vinny Castilla even works as a special assistant to current GM Bill Schmidt.
Likewise, Pedro Astacio spent parts of five seasons with the Rockies and was one of the best pitchers for the Rockies in the 1990s. The Rockies players that were crucial for their World Series run in 2007, like Matt Holliday, Jeff Francis, and Aaron Cook are example of other players that could be honored in a Ring of Fame. Rockies great, Jorge De La Rosa holds many of the all time pitching records for the club deserves to have a spot on the lower ring of Coors Field. Other fan favorites like Carlos Gonzaléz and Troy Tulowitzki would be easy choices from the 2010s Rockies’ teams that could make it into the Ring of Fame.
In the future, players like Charlie Blackmon and Kyle Freeland will be obvious choices for their part in the 2017 and 2018 playoff teams, both of which will have spent most, if not all of their MLB careers in purple pinstripes and have been fans favorites.
Non-players that would have consideration for the Ring of Fame would include former managers and coaches alike. One example would be Don Baylor, the Rockies first manager that took the expansion team and made the club’s first postseason appearance in their third year in 1995. Next Clint Hurdle, who led the Rockies to their first World Series appearance and was a valuable reason for their success in that miracle run that season would be a good candidate. Similarly, Jim Tracey took over in 2009 and helped the team make a push for the playoffs that season and could be considered.
By adding a Ring of Fame, the Rockies could honor players that helped shape the franchise and led the few seasons of success. The members would be able to be honored by the club and the fans every time they come to the ballpark.
If the Rockies were to create a Ring of Fame, what ideas do you have and who would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments!
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Zac Veen is the Rockies top prospect going into the New Year, and he’s getting national attention as well. The MiLB experts at MLB.com have Veen as the most interesting prospect in the Rockies organization that could make his debut next year. Veen hit his stride at the end of the season in Double-A Hartford and the Arizona Fall League and is set to make at getting his debut next season in Colorado. The outfielder batted .333 in the AFL and stole 16 bases as the leadoff man.
Jon Heyman provides quick-hits of the hot stove throughout the holiday week to end the year. The Rockies and Marlins were in the talks that would have sent Brendan Rodgers to Miami for right hander Edward Cabrera. Another player the Rockies have shown interest in is Corey Dickerson, which would provide a left-handed outfield bat to the lineup. Dickerson started his career in Colorado back in 2013.
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