Colorado Rockies: A Look Back at the Franchise’s First Game
The Colorado Rockies took the field for the first time 23 years ago today, taking on the New York Mets at Shea Stadium to open the 1993 season.
It was a three-year journey to get to that first game, with Denver voters approving a 0.1 percent sales tax for construction of a new stadium in August of 2010 if Major League Baseball awarded a franchise to the Mile High City.
Ten months after approving the tax, Denver voters were told by MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent that their city had been approved for an expansion franchise (along with South Florida). One month later, the Colorado Rockies name and logo was unveiled.
In the three years between the initial tax vote and Colorado’s first-ever Opening Day, a lot of work happened behind the scenes, culminating with the Rockies debuting their franchise by facing the Mets and Dwight Gooden before an Opening Day crowd of 53,127. Under a sunny sky and with temperatures hovering in the mid-50s, Gooden paced the Mets to a 3-0 decision over the Rockies.
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Hurling a complete game, Gooden allowed just four hits in a 101-pitch masterpiece. Leadoff hitter Eric Young and right fielder Dante Bichette each had a hit, while Andres Galarraga went 2-for-4, including Colorado’s first-ever base hit with a second-inning single.
Young would also make history that day by recording Colorado’s first-ever stolen base with a swipe of second in the third inning.
While Gooden was piecing together a shutout for the Mets, Colorado Rockies starter David Nied was limiting New York to just two runs in his five innings of work. He allowed six hits, including Bobby Bonilla’s solo homer in the fifth inning, but also walked six batters.
Butch Henry would allow the Mets’ other run of the day in the sixth inning when Eddie Murray drilled a single to left to score Vince Coleman.
During the upcoming season, Nied and Henry would combine to start 31 games for the Rockies, but would go just 7-17 between them.
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The 3-0 loss would be the start of a 67-95 record under manager Don Baylor, including a 6-1 loss to the Mets two days later that would give New York a two-game series sweep to open the season. The Colorado Rockies would earn their first-ever victory in its inaugural home game on April 9 with an 11-4 decision over the Montreal Expos at Mile High Stadium.