GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: BASEBALL IN DENVER

Hello again! As you know, it’s busy being me. Well, specifically working and traveling – which amounts to a round-the-clock “job” I suppose. I haven’t wrote as much as I would like, but I have plenty of stuff on the backburner that I’m bringing up to the, um, frontburner…

In the meantime enjoy this piece from a good friend of mine, Sean Holland. Sean and I went to college together in Billings, Montana and keep in touch on a regular basis through the power of the internet. Sean recently traveled down to Denver with his folks to catch a Phillies-Rockies series at Coors Field. Enjoy his recap:

Coors Field (c) baseball-reference.com

Firstly I would like to thank the wonderful author of this blog, Phil. I have enjoyed his writing and I just want to thank him for the opportunity to share my recent trip to Denver.

I have gone to several series at Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) so I have a feel for the park. This was the first time I had not gone to see my favorite team – the Chicago Cubs – play in Denver. This time I went with my parents to see the juggernaut that is the Philadelphia Phillies, but more on that in a bit.

We left Billings on Sunday the 31st, on our way to Casper, Wyoming. The trip from Billings to Casper lasts about four hours. Leaving Billings to the south you pass Custer’s Last Stand Battlefield. I have visited only once but it was quite a fascinating experience. It has been 135 years, but still…Custer…how dumb were you? Anyway, back to the trip at hand…

It isn’t hard to notice when you have entered Wyoming. The gray bumpy highways of Montana instantly become smooth red roads built with the oil money Wyoming is flush with. There aren’t many sights in Wyoming, gassing up in the town of Buffalo and  the sight of a neon jackalope in the window reminds you that you are in the Cowboy state.

Missile Drive (c) airforcetimes.com

After spending Sunday night in Casper it is off to Denver for another four hour drive. The main excitement on this leg of the trip is driving through Cheyenne, home to a large Air Force base (F.E. Warren). It is always interesting to see models of airplanes and missiles while passing Missile Drive.

By Monday afternoon we had arrived at the Embassy Suites in lovely lower downtown Denver. Just with enough time for two mile walk to Coors Field (Phil’s note – I’ve stayed at this exact same hotel and would recommend it as well). We were greeted by a familiar foe on our walk Monday night – which what could only be described as a deluge of rain. However, the wet weather had cleared by the time we arrived for the game. Coors Field – now over 15 years old – is still a beautiful park and upon arrival we were greeted by a mob of family members who live in the city.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the class of the National League and the odds on favorite to win the World Series. But on this Monday night the Rockies – likely destined to finish out of the playoffs – clung to a late 4-2 lead. In the top of the ninth inning and down to their last out the Phillies sent John Mayberry Jr. up to the plate. Facing his last strike he crushed a two-run homer to tie the score. That was it for us, always ones to beat the crowd we left after the game was tied (A family tradition). (Phil’s note – A family tradition for me as well, specifically when dad and I would go to games. I usually stay ‘til the end these days if I attend on my own). Shane Victorino proceeded to win the game for the Phillies with a home run in the 10th inning.

Ryan Howard congratulated by Jimmy Rollins after his second home run in Game 2 (c) lehighvalleylive.com

Tuesday – after a relaxing day at the hotel – we walked to the game. My cousin Tommy is the world’s largest Ryan Howard fan literally and figuratively (he is quite tall). Anyway, this Tuesday night his hero came through, pounding not one but two homers as the Phillies won 5-0. (On a side note those fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will be disappointed to hear I didn’t send any love notes to Chase Utley on behalf of Mac.) That night we got dinner from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and it was good despite not seeing any sign of Lt. Dan or Forrest.

16th Street Mall (c) denver.org

On Wednesday we walked through the lovely 16th Street Mall on the way to the game. It is beautiful with black sidewalks and numerous stores and restaurants. It was a perfect day for a 1 pm start. The great Roy Halladay – perennial Cy Young contender and possibly best pitcher in baseball – pitched for the Phillies. Naturally, as my luck would have it, he gave up six runs in perhaps his worst performance of the year. Yet the Phillies still managed to score more and were victorious in the end. The food at Coors didn’t disappoint as well as I enjoyed a jumbo dog, nachos and popcorn over the three-game series. I must say the popcorn is perhaps the best of any park I’ve gone to and I highly recommend it.

That night we were back in Casper en route to Billings. It was an exciting trip and I hope you enjoyed my tale of Denver.

If you would like to be a guest contributor please e-mail the weekend roady, Philip Sites at philsites at live dot com

2 thoughts on “GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: BASEBALL IN DENVER

  1. My wife and I decided 5 years ago to try and visit each of the 30 MLB stadiums, with a goal of at least 1 per year. We have experienced 8 thus far with Target Field in Minneapolis completed this season. We did Coors Field 3 years ago during a week in Colorado, and fell in love with downtown Denver and the stadium. Other highlights in downtown were the Denver Art Museum and the CELL an interactive museum devoted to the causes and outcome of terror.

  2. Jeff – good call on the Denver Art Museum, that is well worth a visit.

    Being an avid baseball fan the 30 ball park goal has always been something I’ve tossed around. Unfortunately I can only say I’ve been to five (now that’s counting stadiums I’ve seen MLB games in, not just seen the stadium from the outside – oh boy, another “counting” question beckons). On the flip side I’ve seen games in four former parks I guess. Glad you made it out to Target Field! I was there for the opener and returned last year again. It’s a great place to watch a game.

    I’ll be posting about my drive up to Williamsport for the LLWS this weekend, so watch for that. Have to root on my former hometown Billings, MT!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s