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As we approach the 2023 season and the 30th in the Colorado Rockies’ existence, let’s take a look back at the franchise’s first year and how it went. Who were the first players to wear purple and black? Who were the best players? How did they perform?

A look back at how the Colorado Rockies got their start in 1993

After various attempts over several decades, in 1993, the city of Denver, Colorado and Rocky Mountain County finally landed their own MLB team, the Colorado Rockies. They would decide on the iconic purple and black colors that we are used to today and decide to play in the now defunct “Old” Mile High Stadium. Placed in the National League West, where over the next 30 years to date the organization has had its highs, lows, and unfortunately still lacks the most coveted championship in the world, as well as the first division title.

Few players can ever say they were the first to ever play for a Major League club. These men have that privilege.

The 1993 Colorado Rockies Open Day lineup was as follows:

  • C – Joe Girardi
  • 1B – Andres Galarraga
  • 2B – Eric Young Sr.
  • 3B – Charlie Hayes
  • S.S. – Freddie Benavides
  • LF – Gerald Clarke
  • CF – Alex Cook
  • RF – Dante Bichet
  • SP – David Nead

A 25 year old Winnie Castile will play more games than Benavid during the season. Of course, he would continue to be a key player in Colorado for nine years.

This 1993 team would unfortunately not play winning baseball in their inaugural season, going 67-95 and finishing 37 games behind the NL West winner Atlanta Braves. It wouldn’t be without some tremendous individual performances throughout the season.

Andres Galarraga was an absolute tank for this lineup, leading the league with a .370 batting average. Collecting 174 hits in just 120 games, Gallaraga also crushed 22 homers, drove in 98 and led the team with a 1.005 OPS.

Charlie Hayes will provide plenty of firepower alongside Galarraga. Led the team in hits (175) and the league in doubles (45). Hitting .305 with 25 home runs and 98 RBI of his own, Hayes was second on the team in OPS at a more than respectable .876.

Perhaps the biggest name on this lineup, Dante Bichette, is also coming off a great season on a record-breaking overall team. He would also hit over .300 (.310), lead the team in runs scored (93), and finish third on the team in OPS, just under the .876 (.874) posted by Hayes.

Eric Young Sr. and Alex Cole would match for 72 stolen bases with 42 and 30 respectively. Eric Young Sr. proved to be a minor catalyst for the club with a sneaky 82-goal run.

Pitching staff

While the lineup featured premier bats and the numbers to back them up, the first year saw this pitching staff struggle a bit. Well, not just a little, but a lot. The Rockies’ pitching staff would rank dead in the National League in several team statistical categories, including ERA (5.41), hits allowed, runs allowed, home runs and walks allowed. A formula that could not possibly succeed. The under-the-bag staff would also strike out a staggering 10.5 batters per nine innings.

What did that mean?

The long wait for a Major League Baseball team in Denver was very much anticipated indeed, as their inaugural season would set the home attendance record for any Major League Baseball club ever in history, just under 4.5 million for the season. This is a record that has yet to be broken.

The history of Colorado rock has been one step forward, two steps back. However, with the titles, that doesn’t mean the last 30 years haven’t been without their moments. The inaugural season, 1993, of all the moments in the club’s history, however, could be regarded as an all-time moment, regardless of the record.

To give the area of ​​people a tribe to follow, colors to dawn and an identity they’ve clamored for decades to fall under. The Coloradoans got what they wanted in 1993, and the Rockies will always be their baby.


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