“It’s been a great trip and I’ve enjoyed it” -George Frazier
It’s hard to say goodbye.
The growth and endearing longevity that the game of baseball has with generations of fans have long been placed on the shoulders of the individuals tasked with weaving the vast tapestry of the game each and every night. The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers had Vin Scully, the Chicago Cubs had Harry Caray, and a generation of Colorado Rockies fans had George Frazier.
On Monday, June 19, 2023, Rockies Nation received the sudden and tragic news that the longtime analyst had passed away following a battle with an undisclosed illness at the age of 68. Today, we say goodbye to a man that spent so much time doing something he loved, talking about baseball.
We are deeply saddened at the passing of former Rockies color analyst, George Frazier.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 19, 2023
A retired MLB pitcher, George was a mainstay and the voice behind many classic calls on Rockies broadcasts from 1998-2015. For a generation of Rockies fans, George Frazier was synonymous with… pic.twitter.com/dtTAF6xu1y
Hailing from Oklahoma, George Frazier played 10 years in a big league uniform from 1978-1987. He spent time with several well-established organizations such as the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs, as well as the Cleveland Indians, and the Minnesota Twins. After winning the World Series with the Twins in 1987, Frazier called it a career and hung up his spikes. He would later return to the Twins in 1993, serving as an analyst in the booth to begin his broadcasting career.
For nearly two decades, Frazier had a front-row seat for some of the greatest and most significant moments in the Rockies’ 30-year history, growing a generation of fans while continuing to build new relationships around the game.
The role of an analyst for a baseball broadcast is a simple one; explain the game and provide insights that viewers may not know. They are meant to compliment the play-by-play broadcaster and at times provide the lifeblood of a broadcast. George Frazier did that, and then some.
As an aspiring broadcaster myself, I have many memories of listening to Frazier call games with his long-time partner Drew Goodman on television. When it came down to business, Frazier was always quick to explain the process of pitching, something that always delighted me as a pitcher growing up. He had an easy and eloquent way of speaking in his own way that made him so endearing to listen to. As a fan, I always felt enlightened by him as well as entertained thanks to his antics and quirks in the booth.
Engrained in my memory is a game one year when the Rockies were likely getting stomped by their opponent. As the camera panned the crowd, it focused in on a kid wearing a hat that Frazier just became obsessed with. The camera would cut back and forth between the action on the field and the kid with the hat, with Frazier losing his mind each time he saw and proclaiming something along the lines of “I want that hat!” Well, Frazier got his wish by sending a signed baseball down to the kid and having a member of the TV crew make the trade. He then proceeded to wear the goofy hat for the rest of the game.
He was a true character.
Being a Rockies broadcaster is a thankless job at times. I don’t envy when broadcasters have to figure out what to do in those instances when the team is not performing well to keep viewers entertained, especially during the many lean years the Rockies have had, but Frazier seemed to be built for those moments. He was always quick with a story or anecdote, that not only made a point about the game but was incredibly funny and his chemistry with Goodman in the booth has been missed.
In 2015, fans said goodbye to Frazier at Coors Field when he announced his retirement in order to pursue the noble cause of spending more time with his family.
George Frazier was a professional, witty, humorous, and kind man that loved baseball and people, making sure they knew he cared. The measure of a man is best gauged by the people he impacted and called friends. In looking at the theater of life and the field of baseball, what truly makes them special isn’t the material or the money, or even the things themselves but rather the people we find ourselves surrounded by, and George Frazier was that person for a generation of Rockies fans and more beyond that.
The life and personality of Frazier can be summed up in this clip from 2015.
The man may be gone, but the memories and impact he leaves will live forever.
Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time and hope they find comfort in seeing how beloved George was in the Rockies family.
To close, enjoy looking through these tweets about memories and epitaphs that fans, players, and co-workers shared about George Frazier.
Times…what a tremendous combination! I love you my friend, rest easy…you will be missed but never forgotten. Comfort to your terrific family…— Drew Goodman (@DrewGoodman42) June 20, 2023
The entire AT&T SportsNet family is deeply saddened at the sudden loss of of our friend George Frazier. His in-depth knowledge and love of the game spoke to a generation of Rockies fans. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/uFX2gLjRhT— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM (@ATTSportsNetRM) June 20, 2023
George Frazier was one of a kind. Will miss you and that laugh, Georgie! RIP pic.twitter.com/9SOYpDOPsU— Jenny Cavnar (@jennycavnar) June 20, 2023
Heartbroken to hear of the passing of George Frazier. He was by my side when I called one of my first MLB games. Some of my fondest memories as a Rockies broadcaster were of George and his stories from his playing days. He had a huge personality and even bigger heart. RIP George. pic.twitter.com/SZ58Houbwg— Tom Helmer (@TheTomHelmer) June 19, 2023
I don't know if I have ever known anyone more than I knew George. We lived in adjoining hotel rooms in Denver and on the road, eating every breakfast meal in Denver at Sam's No. 3. He loved baseball. He liked people. His knowledge was overwhelming, and his ego non-existent. https://t.co/jGr0yHUIPF— Tracy Ringolsby (@TracyRingolsby) June 20, 2023
George was a mentor to me from my first day in the Major Leagues and well past my last. I miss sharing breakfasts on the road and hearing Billy Martin stories from his days as a Yankee. RIP George Frazier. He will be missed. https://t.co/T0uKSWMSX2— Jeffrey Francis (@jeffwfrancis) June 20, 2023
I remember him talking about how he loved Mayo on his hot dogs and Drew would always give him a hard time about it— Kyle Domingos (@MrkykyDomingos) June 20, 2023
Funniest was probably the 22 inning game against San Diego when he was scourging suites for food and would say ahh crap every time the Rockies hit a ground ball. One of the most entertaining extra inning games because of him.— Nate (@rocktober19) June 19, 2023
Gotta be CarGos walkoff cycle. one of the rare times the color guy talking over the over the PxP mid play mad ethe call better.— Champ Adam (@Take_A_Heiche) June 20, 2023
RIP to one of the greats! I remember running into him when my family got club seats via work and it was rainout. I was young enough that all I remember is him being extremely tall. His commentary was some of my favorite to listen to growing up https://t.co/uNhC3YTxJk— Keaton Monier (@keaton_monier) June 20, 2023
The way he said Danny Ardoin’s name is forever imprinted on my brain. Probably nothing for your article, just the first thing that comes to my head when I think about him.— Mark J (@COLsportsguy) June 19, 2023
RIP to former Twins pitcher, George Frazier.— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 20, 2023
George will always be remembered as a member of our 1987 World Series team. pic.twitter.com/wyhPkiFdj5
George Frazier was a one-of-a-kind broadcaster. Loved listening to him. He made you feel like you were just sitting on his front porch sipping lemonade on a hot summer day as you listened to his baseball stories from yesteryear.— Chad Conant (@chadconant4) June 20, 2023
RIP George. He was really good at filling time in lopsided Rockies games with his great stories. We Rockies fans could use another broadcaster like him during these current lopsided games. But there will never be another George Frazier. Sounds like he was a good guy too.— Greg Colbert (@colbert_greg) June 20, 2023
Sad day hearing that George Frazier has passed away. Terrific pitcher on several CWS teams at OU in the mid 70’s. 10 years in the bigs, WS champion with the Twins in ‘87. Learned a lot listening to him call OU games after leaving the Rockies’ booth. The ultimate call up today.— Matthew Meyer (@Bluto51) June 20, 2023
George Frazier was the voice of the @Rockies for me growing up. I used to love listening to him on the broadcast and hearing the pitching tips he would mention on the broadcasts. My friends and I would go out and try those tips in the parker the next day. RIP George. https://t.co/zlOUfZGfII— Brandon (@SocialBrandonO) June 20, 2023
This one hurts In addition to being a Rockies broadcaster, George Frazier was the commissioner of Fantasy Camp & absolutely hilarious with how he’d call people out at kangaroo court. Thank you for adding an extra spark to an already special experience Commish. We’ll miss you! pic.twitter.com/xmmlQyjRkB— Shannon (@LoveTheRox) June 20, 2023
George Frazier means so much to baseball in the Tulsa area. I’m lucky to have got to know George. He taught me so much about pitching and life. I know there are hundreds of people that shed the same tears I did today over the passing of a legend. Rest in peace Jorge. https://t.co/cry0x03p84— Nick Brown (@nickhorsebrown) June 20, 2023
Heartbroken and stunned to hear about the passing today of George Frazier. Just a wonderful person and great broadcaster. Such great memories of working on the Rockies broadcast team with George in the 2000’s. #RIPGeorge pic.twitter.com/rzTKf1fZyY— Tim Ring (@timringTV) June 20, 2023
George Frazier was one of my favorite baseball color commentators. He made the REALLY bad years of the #rockies fun, because he wasn't afraid to speak his mind.— fiyah powah (@fiyahpowah) June 20, 2023
Having a hot dog with mayo this weekend in memory of Mr Frazier.
This one hurts. George Frazier was a class act. Won the '87 World Series as a reliever with the Twins, his last year in the majors. Great broadcaster for the Rockies. Will never forget his stories, his laugh, or how he seemed to start every sentence with, "Well...". RIP.#Rockies https://t.co/VaXVziX08F— Operative_X (@OperativeXRay) June 19, 2023
Frazier obviously had many times to Oklahoma University as a student-athlete as well as a color analyst for the baseball team after he retired from calling Rockies games. He was beloved in his home state and the OU media relations team has a nice recap of his time as a Sooner.
The first phase of the All-Star vote ends Thursday and the Rockies have just one player in the top five at their position. Elias Diaz currently sits in fifth place at catcher, well behind top vote-getters Sean Murphy and Will Smith. Additionally, Ryan McMahon doesn’t place in the top 10 at third base, while Randal Grichuk sits 19th in the outfield. Seems the Rockies will have once again to rely on the player vote and/or league designation representatives. At least we have the new All-Star hats, right?
On the Farm
Despite tallying nine hits as a team, including Cole Tucker’s three hits, managed just two runs in an early match-up on Tuesday. Jeff Criswell started on the mound, allowing five runs on six hits in three innings of work. Logan Allen and PJ Poulin combined to allow the other five runs, but Matt Koch, Nick Mears, and Tommy Doyle managed to toss 3 2⁄3 innings of scoreless baseball.
It was an inefficient start for Case Williams, allowing three runs on six hits in 2 1⁄3 innings of work on 65 pitches. The bullpen turned in a solid performance, but the Yard Goats came up just short, scoring four runs on five hits. They did manage three home runs as a team, including Yanquiel Fernandez’s first Double-A home run since his promotion.
The Spokane offense did quite a bit, but not enough to overcome solid bullpen work from Tri-City. Sterlin Thompson and Jordan Beck both had two-hit nights, including Beck’s two RBI. On the mound, Caron Palmquist got the start and tossed four innings, allowing three runs and left with the lead. Keegan James followed him out of the bullpen and took the loss after allowing three runs in the top of the sixth to give the Dust Devils the lead and the eventual win.
Ryan Ritter and Parker Kelly have two hits apiece for Fresno, but the offense wasn’t able to do much else as they mustered just two runs against Modesto. Caleb Franzen started on the mound and got through five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with one strikeout and two walks.
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