Monday Morning Shortstop: Opening Day – An Amazing Sea of Humanity


If you have never experienced Opening Day at Coors Field, immediately put it on the top of your bucket list.

Even if you don’t give two craps about baseball, the entire opening day experience is something that you should take part in at least once in your lifetime.

It is an unbelievable conglomeration of thousands of people, an amazing sea of humanity, ranging from toddlers wearing purple diapers to senior citizens wearing purple hearing aids. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, cousins, in-laws, out-laws – everyone shows up for opening day, and everyone is welcome. It doesn’t matter if you are from Aurora or Azerbaijan, we all are fans of baseball, and all fans of the beloved Rockies.

Even before you get into the stadium, the endless droves of people that cram into Lower Downtown are a sight to behold. It’s like the streets of New York City, Mumbai, and Sao Paulo (all historically crowded) all jammed into about eight square blocks for just one day.

To those people who don’t have tickets to the actual game, do not be deterred. Coors Field holds about 50,000. The bars, restaurants, and any local watering hole close to Blake Street hold even more. Just because you might not have tickets to the game, doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the action. Every barstool has a friend and every outdoor patio will be standing room only. So don’t fret if your opening day experience does not include a live viewing of the actual game – just go to Lodo and party like it’s 2007 (when the Rockies last won the pennant and Lodo was the setting for an extended rager for a whole month)

To those people who do have tickets to the game, congratulations, and prepare to make some memories. On opening day, Coors Field is transformed into a baseball themed frat party, minus the naked Vaseline wresting, and plus the fact that you actually have to pay for beer. But gosh darn it, that ten dollar Coors Original tastes so good once it hits your lips.

And even it if you’re not the drinking type, there is a plenty of delicious treats to be ingested. That seven-dollar ice cream of the future that really should be called ice cream of the present at this point, also tastes so good once it hits your lips.

Opening Day is also so compelling because it encapsulates an array of new beginnings…

The first time the umpire announces “Play-ball,” even though the majority of the fans can’t even here him. It’s one of the most treasured traditions of the game.

The first crack of the bat, echoing throughout the stadium, signaling the first contact of wood on ball.

The first TU-LO chant, beautifully synchronized and unbelievably deafening. And now that Tulo is guaranteed to be wearing purple pinstripes for the next decade, Rockies fans can look forward to many, many, many more TULO chants to come: Da-da-da-da-da….da-da-da-da – TU-LO!

The first Cargo swing and the first Cargo laser line drive. Gonzalez is personally worth the price of admission. He wears the number 5, is a 5-tool player, and is arguably one of the best five players in the league. He may have the sweetest swing in the game, poetry in motion. And just like his boy Tulo, it looks like he wants to be a Rockie for life.

The first Rockie dog, drizzled with two symmetrical lines of ketchup, and then topped with whatever tasty fix-ins that tickle your fancy.

The first nacho, delicately dipped in the first puddle of hot nacho cheese (jalapenos optional).

The first home run, the piez-de-resistance of the sport of baseball, the first of hundreds that will occur throughout the course of the 81 games at Coors Field.

The first double play will be turned, one of the most eye-pleasing spectacles in all of sports. Take your pick, 6 -4-3, 5-4-3, 4-6-3, or even the 3-6-1. The double play is always a pleasure to behold.

The first questionable call, which will induce a cacophony of boos from the crowd, and various obnoxious screams from that one guy who had seven too many alcoholic libations.

The first seven inning stretch. another unique and treasured baseball tradition. In what other environment will you ever sing a song together with 50,000 complete strangers?

The first win, or the first loss. But whatever the result is, it will be the first game concluded, and the first tally in the standings. One game down, 161 to go. The first leg of the marathon that is the baseball season.

Bottom line, Opening Day is truly awesome. Just like Hanukkah, Christmas or Thanksgiving, it only happens once a year, is a fantastic opportunity to eat and drink, and it brings people together. In fact, I think governments across America should make it a national holiday. It’s more than just a live viewing of a baseball game. It’s an all day festival, a cornucopia of civilization, and a hotbed of excitement. It’s an entire city coming together to collectively celebrate our fondness of the Colorado Rockies.

-Zach Cohn

Follow RoxPile on Facebook and @Logan_Burdine on Twitter