From the buzz of the vendors hawking snacks and beer to the (all too rare) crack of the home run bat, the Colorado Rockies are a big presence at 20th and Blake streets in downtown Denver.
But their arrival in Denver 30 years ago took years of work by local politicians and business people — and sometimes things got a little weird.
Filmmaker Kyle Dyer tells the behind-the-scenes story in the documentary “When Colorado Went Major League.”
Here are some of the details she dug up:
1. The first hit of the first-ever Rockies home game was a home run by second baseman Eric Young. He didn’t hit another homer until the last game of the season.
2. Coors Field was funded by a sales tax approved by voters in the six-county metro area — but not every county bought in. Denver and Adams County voters actually rejected the tax. The measure won with strong support from the other suburbs.
3. A then-prominent downtown bar owner — now a U.S. senator — didn’t want Coors Field in his backyard. Wynkoop Brewing Company owner John Hickenlooper told Dyer he worried at the time drunk baseball fans would ruin LoDo. (He’s since told her he was wrong.)
4. The team’s first owner, millionaire Mickey Monus of Detroit, was indicted on racketeering charges 100 days before the Rockies’ first game. A trio of limited partners stepped up to take over the team.
5. Rockies mascot Dinger is named for a dinosaur bone found during stadium construction. (We wrote a whole story about the bones, by the way.)
More stories about the Rockies and baseball in Colorado:
- The road is rough — but these wannabe Major League Baseball umpires are keeping their eyes on the ball
- Love it or hate it, The Wave is wooing crowds all over the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field
- The first openly gay Major League Baseball umpire reflects on coming out, Coors Field and the ‘robo-umpire’
- It’s Opening Day for the Colorado Rockies. And Daniel Bard is just grateful he kicked ‘the yips’
- Did they really find sino bones under Coors Field or is that just a Denver urban myth?
- Dinger, the much-maligned mascot, just wants Colorado’s love — and a Rockies win
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