Major League Baseball’s playoffs are in full-swing. The Wild Card rounds are over and we are two days into Division Series action, with teams like the Baltimore Orioles already on life support. Naturally, the Colorado Rockies are nowhere to be found after amassing 103 losses and the worst record in the National League in 2023.
There is some purple representation, however, as Joelle Milholm laid-out in Friday’s Rockpile. Could there be a career-defining big moment for one of these former Colorado players this postseason? It’s more common than you might think. With that in mind, let’s look at three of the biggest postseason careers for players that donned a Rockies uniform.
It’s only fitting the list starts with the only Championship Series MVP winner in a Rockies’ uniform. Holliday was Colorado’s motor in 2007 and proved that in the playoffs with five home runs and 10 RBI with a .941 OPS in 11 games over three series.
Every Colorado fan knows how 2007 turned out, but Holliday had plenty more postseason moments once he arrived in St. Louis. In all, Holliday tallied 77 postseason games, collecting 122 total bases and 13 HR while finishing with a .245/.303/.421 slash-line and one World Series ring in 2011 with the Cardinals. For good measure, Holliday finished his postseason career where it started, gathering two hits in four games between the NL Wild Card and Division Series in 2018.
Quite a few former Rockies were able to earn rings outside of Colorado, but none earned more than former catcher Joe Girardi. He spent three years with the expansion-era Rockies before getting traded to the New York Yankees for reliever Mike DeJean in 1995.
That set the table for Girardi to serve as the backup catcher for the Yankees dynasty of the late-1990s. His numbers weren’t overly impressive, as he only appeared in 39 postseason games over his 15-year career and posted a frigid .184/.244/.219 line in 127 plate appearances. But he still won three rings with New York (1996, 1998 and 1999) accounting for the most by a former member of the Colorado franchise.
Girardi isn’t the only former Colorado player to win multiple championships before joining the managerial ranks. Craig Counsell had a brief stint in the Rockies’ system to begin his career, appearing in just four games over two years before getting traded to the Florida Marlins during the 1997 season.
It was a fortunate acquisition for the Marlins, as Counsell would go on to score the walk-off winning run in game seven of that year’s World Series, winning his first championship. That wouldn’t be Counsell’s last time in the spotlight, though.
After earning MVP in the National League Championship Series in 2001 with a hefty .905 OPS in five games against the Atlanta Braves, Counsell was a key part of the Arizona Diamondbacks 2001 World Series team that ended the Yankees dynasty.
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Patrick Lyons over at DNVR makes a convincing case for the Atlanta Braves being the most formidable team in the postseason and plenty of members of the Colorado organization echo that sentiment. Manager Bud Black said of Atlanta “This is arguably one of the best lineups I’ve ever seen,” while pitcher Kyle Freeland described the Braves as being the best lineup he has ever faced.
In case you missed it, we’ve kicked-off our annual RtR segment here at Purple Row.
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Pebble Report: Arizona Fall League
The Arizona Fall League is now in action, with the Colorado Rockies being represented by eight players on the Salt River Rafters roster. The Rafters are off to a sluggish start with a 2-4 record. Sterlin Thompson and Benny Montgomery have started well, however. Thompson’s nine hits are the second-best mark in the league thus far while Montgomery is tied for second in stolen bags with three.
On the mound, Juan Mejia has impressed with seven strikeouts in 2 1⁄3 IP while Alec Barger has punched-out five in three innings. Case Williams tossed three scoreless innings in his first start, however Chris McMahon was less fortunate — surrendering four runs on five hits in 1 1⁄3 innings.
2023 AFL Hitters (Season to Date)
2023 AFL Pitchers (Season to Date)
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