We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 35 on our list, Curt Leskanic.
If it wasn’t for Curt Leskanic, it’s quite possible that the first time the Colorado Rockies ever made the playoffs would have been 2007. To reach the playoffs in 1995, the Rockies had to beat the Giants on the final day of the season.
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The Rockies could not have got off to a worse start. The Giants were leading 8-2 at the lowest point. The Rockies would foreshadow their 2007 Rocktober days by making a magical comeback to eventually hold a 10-9 lead heading into the ninth.
Bring in Leskanic.
He pitched a clean inning and induced a ground ball from future Rockies catcher Jeff Reed to to Andres Galarraga to cap up a truly magical first season at Coors Field. Catcher Joe Girardi lifting Leskanic in the air is one of the best images in the history of Denver sports. Relive the magic moment here.
Leskanic was one of the first Rockies making his debut in 1993. He played in Denver until 1999. In that time he had 415 strikeouts, 20 saves and a pre-humidor 5.09 ERA. His 6.7 WAR alone makes him one of the greatest relievers in Rockies history.
Leskanic went on to pitch for the Brewers, Royals and Red Sox. He won and championship with the Red Sox in his last season in 2004. When commenting on who he was rooting for in the 2007 World Series, he said he couldn’t decide but said he always loved Denver.
Denver will forever be grateful to Leskanic for bringing the team to the playoffs for the first time. Thankfully for Rockies fans, Leskanic pitched better than he dances.