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A new documentary celebrates the community that brought MLB to Colorado

Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, July 27, 2023

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it’s no wonder it takes a city to bring a Major League Baseball team into existence.

That city needs skilled politicians, lawyers, creative business folks, people who can bring and find money, architects, baseball fans, taxpayers, and committees and commissions of all kinds all rowing in the same direction with one goal binding them together: acquiring a Major League Baseball franchise.

Thanks to a new documentary titled “When Colorado Went Major League,” Rockies fans of all generations can now relive the stories of many of the people who were instrumental in bringing the Colorado Rockies to fruition.

The 58-minute, 30-second film debuted on July 13 at McGregor Square, has since aired on 9News and PBS12, and can be watched for free on YouTube.

Even though Rockies fans aren’t being treated to a winning season for the organization’s 30th-season anniversary, Kyle Dyer Storytelling Productions’ “When Colorado Went Major League” is a wonderful gift to celebrate the occasion. And it’s all thanks to Neil Macey and Kathi Williams, two key players who helped secure a new stadium for the soon-to-be Rockies, who hired former 9News anchor turned entrepreneur storyteller and current host of PBS12’s “Colorado Inside Out,” Kyle Dyer, to create the film.

Macey is a commercial real estate businessman who worked with former Denver Mayor Federico Peña to bring MLB to Colorado and had the idea of having taxpayers vote to approve a sales tax to fund a new stadium, which was required to secure the expansion bid. Williams is a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives from Westminster who agreed to help draft the bill and then pushed it through the Colorado General Assembly.

The duo, who were also featured in Part 4 of Purple Row’s Rockies Origin series in 2022, are two of dozens of people Dyer interviewed in her year-long reporting journey to create the film. Politicians like Peña, former Governor Roy Romer, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, and former Denver Mayor and Colorado Governor and current Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper all tell their stories of how the Mile High City got an MLB team. It also touches on the ownership group with insights from Linda Alvarado (Part 1 of the Rockies Origin series), the scandal of racketeering drugstore-chain owner Mickey Monus, which led to Jerry McMorris and Dick and Charlie Monfort taking on bigger ownership roles (Part 2), and the multi-faceted efforts of guys like Steve Katich to build up Denver as a baseball town in the 1980s (Part 3).

The movie touches on everything from the first Rockies game in Denver on April 5, 1993, to the history of baseball in Denver and how Coors Field was built, and more. Throughout it all, there are amazing clips of unforgettable moments on the field and interviews with the players who made them like Eric Young, Dante Bichette, and Vinny Castilla.

After all the research and interviews, Dyer wrote up the script. Her business partner, Julie Andrews, took over the creative side. The result is a touching tribute to all the people who brought the MLB to Colorado and a franchise that gave Coloradans a team of their own.

Even better, it’s free to watch. In a recent interview with Colorado Expression, Dyer explained why: “There’s no charge because this isn’t a commercial project; it’s a gift to the community.”


Ezequiel Tovar is beginning to meet Colorado Rockies’ high rookie expectations | Call to the Pen

In this article, Aaron Hurt admits he was skeptical about how good Ezequiel Tovar could really be this season. Hurt doesn’t seem to have doubts anymore as Tovar is not only maintaining his outstanding defense, but also hitting for a decent average with some power and clutch doubles. As Hurt says, “With the return of Brendan Rodgers from his season-long stint on the IL at second base, along with the emerging star in Tovar, the Rockies will have a bright future up the middle of the infield and at the top of the lineup for seasons to come.”

Atlanta Braves rumors: Why this hypothetical trade simply won’t happen | Call to the Pen

The Athletic recently suggested that the Braves should trade for Charlie Blackmon to add some veteran savviness to their roster for a possible postseason run. In this post, Kevin Henry shuts that idea down, citing the Rockies trade history, Blackmon’s historic value to the organization, and Blackmon’s health. Chuck Nazty has been on the IL since June 11 when he was hit by a pitch that broke his hand. Henry is right about this one, even though he has a good quote from Rockies GM Bill Schmidt who said he would listen and talk to Blackmon if an interested team called.

Assessing market value for Rockies’ trade candidates ahead of deadline | Denver Post ($)

Kyle Newman assesses the current market value and odds of being traded for the now common names when it comes to who the Rockies should trade: Elias Díaz, Randal Grichuk, Brent Suter, C.J. Cron, Jurickson Profar, Brad Hand, Daniel Bard, and Charlie Blackmon. While some of these don’t seem remotely possible, what are the odds that the Rockies front office acts before the Aug. 1 deadline?

From racketeering to dinosaur bones, here are 5 facts about the creation of Coors Field | Colorado Public Radio

This is a fun story from CPR’s Michelle P. Fulcher and Ryan Warner and the oddities they learned after watching “When Colorado Went Major League.” It’s definitely one of those stories where sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.


On the Farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 4, Sacramento River Cats 3

Cole Tucker hit a three-run homer and Jonathan Morales hit an RBI double in a four-run third inning that proved to be enough for the Isotopes on Thursday. Making his third Triple-A rehab start, Brendan Rodgers started the game at second base and went 2-for-4 and scored on Tucker’s homer. Wynton Bernard doubled and scored a run and Tucker, Morales, and Hunter Stovall all added two hits. Josh Rogers gave up two earned runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five innings to earn the win. Riley Pint pitched two scoreless innings with no hits and no walks with one strikeout and Evan Justice and Tommy Doyle finished out the win with a scoreless inning each.

Double A: New Hampshire Fisher Cats 7, Hartford Yard Goats 5

Hunter Goodman hit his 23rd homer and doubled twice, Jordan Beck hit a two-run homer, and Colin Simpson added an RBI double to help Hartfod jump out to a 5-1. But the Fisher Cats rallied back with a four-run sixth inning to claim the victory on Thursday.

High-A: Eugene Emeralds 5, Spokane Indians 2

Juan Guerrero homered and Nic Kent hit an RBI single to end Eugene’s shutout bid in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback on Thursday. The Indians only managed one hit in the first six innings and despite getting five hits in the final three innings, they went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Guerrero and Kent each posted two hits.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 12, Inland Empire 3

Of the 12 runs Fresno scored in Thursday’s offensive explosion, seven of them were driven in by Skyler Messinger. The DH hit two three-run homers and added an RBI single for three of the Grizzlies 15 hits. Parker Kelly added a two-run triple and drove in another run after being hit by a pitch and Bryant Betancourt went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Connor Staine earned the win for Fresno after tossing six innings, only giving up three runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts.


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