We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 54 on our list, Roger Bailey.
It’s a shame Roger Bailey didn’t pitch for the Rockies much longer than he did. At least untill the introduction of the humidor before the 2002 season. Bailey was one of the best pitchers the Rockies ever had in the pre-humidor days. His career was cut short when he was a passenger in a car driven by teammate Mike Muñoz. The car was rear-ended and Bailey sustained a back injury.
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The potential Bailey had was seemingly endless, especially how much his colleagues struggled to pitch at altitude. Bailey was one of the first four picks in the 1992 draft. He made his debut in 1995 pitching 39 games starting six of them. He went 7-6 with a 4.98 ERA. The next year his ERA shot up to 6.24 going 2-3. He made more starts that year with 11 in 24 games.
Nothing compared to Bailey’s last season in 1997 where he took his career to another level. He went 9-10 that season but he had a 4.29 ERA playing in Coors Field. Did we mention it was 1997. If you had an ERA south of six, you were considered a mythical creature. What is just as impressive is Bailey pitched 191 innings.
In his first five starts he threw three complete games and two shutouts. Bailey didn’t throw the heat but he had pinpoint control giving him a 4.7 WAR with the Rockies. Bailey continued to contribute to the Rockies organization after his playing career. He was an advance scout for Colorado for four years and did some TV reporting.
There is no telling how far Bailey could have gone if his career wasn’t tragically cut short. All considering, Bailey should be remembered for defying the laws of physics and earning a near 4.00 ERA in the early days of Coors Field.
Check out the previous player on this list, number 55 Gabe White here.