Rockies Fans Span Two Decades

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Posted Sat, Apr 20, 2013

Photo by Ashley Hattle

OPENING DAY: Fans gather to celebrate Colorado Rockies opening day on April 5, 2013.  [Photo by Ashley Hattle.]

DENVER–Rockies fans of all ages piled into Coors Field on Friday April 5, 2013, to celebrate opening day of the Colorado Rockies 20th season. Purple shirts, ball caps and even purple Mohawks were seen amongst the crowd on Blake Street as thousands of fans awaited the opening game against the San Diego Padres. The Hazel Miller Band entertained a crowd, while baseball-throwing booths lined the street. The original line-up of the 1993 Rockies players even made an appearance to celebrate 20 years of success.

New and old fans crossed under the Coors sign to become part of history in the making. One of these fans was Marvin Becker of Burlington, Colo. Becker has been a season ticket holder since game one in 1993. He has brought his children and his children’s children every year to see the Rockies play, win or lose.

“Baseball’s very unique in that it is more of a family environment,” Baker says. “When you’re here you see children, you see families and they’re all relaxed. You know they’re actually on vacation when they come to a ball game. Even if it’s just for a few hours, it sort of relaxes them and I think that’s pretty valuable.”

The National Anthem is played while the U.S. Military unfolds the American flag. Photo by Ashley Hattle.

COLOR GUARD: The National Anthem is played while the U.S. Military unfolds the American flag and balloons are released to start the season.[Photo by Ashley Hattle.]

Chas Murphy of Arvada, Colo. is another fan who has been at Coors Field from the beginning. Murphy attended his first Rockies game in 1993 on his sixth birthday, and was so excited that he brought his baseball glove hoping to catch a fly ball. In the 20 years since, Murphy has never left his glove at home. Though a fly ball has never hit his mitt, Murphy still hopes that someday he will be lucky enough to catch a game ball.

“Every game I’ve gone to, even if I sat in the back in the Rock Pile, I brought my glove with me,” Murphy says.

While Murphy has had poor luck with fly balls, Becker has been more fortunate…although his grandson might not agree.

“I missed one [a fly ball], it hit the seat in front of me when I was holding my two-year-old grandson…actually I dropped him trying to get the ball,” Becker says. “I did get the ball, but I practically dropped him on the concrete.”

Baseball and family traditions can run very close together. Garrett Hacking has been a baseball fan since before he can remember.

Jeff Francis waits to throw the opening pitch on April 5, 2013. Photo by Ashley Hattle

FIRST PITCH: Jeff Francis waits to throw the opening pitch on April 5, 2013. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Hacking and his father would go to ball games together, and it quickly became tradition for them to sing together during the seventh- inning stretch. When his father’s health faltered, Hacking stuck with the tradition.

“When my dad was sick I would call him at the seventh-inning stretch and sing with him on the phone,” Hacking says.

The Colorado Rockies are a very young team compared to most baseball teams in America. They have had to overcome devastating losses but also been able to celebrate outstanding wins in only two decades. On April 5, they beat the Padres 5-2, with a sea of purple cheering them on, a sea that will never cease to support their team, the Colorado Rockies.

“That very first game is when I realized how much I love the Rockies and the game,” Murphy says. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since they started playing.”

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Ashley Hattle

About Ashley Hattle

Ashley Hattle is a senior at Metropolitan State University (MSU). In high school, Hattle worked for the school newspaper, The Blazer, as the Executive Photo Editor and Lifestyles Editor. After high school she pursued a career in photography and attended the Art Institute of Colorado. After the Art Institute she quickly began working for a photography company in Denver. Through working as a photographer in Denver she re-found her love of journalism and has been a magazine journalism major at MSU since 2010. Hattle hopes to work as a journalist and photographer after graduation in May 2014.

View all posts by Ashley Hattle

4 Responses to “Rockies Fans Span Two Decades”

  1. S.L. Alderton Says:

    Good descriptions! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Stephanie V. Coleman Says:

    Nice photos. I’m a huge Rockies fan, so this was a great story for me to read. I was there on opening day this year, so very exciting atmosphere to write about.

    Reply

  3. Aaron Lambert Says:

    Very well-written and heartfelt story!! I enjoyed it a lot. You captured the buzz of opening day, and went even deeper into the legacy and meaning of the Rockies.

    Reply

  4. Davy Says:

    Fun read. Great photos used.

    Reply

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