Colorado Rockies: Top 5 greatest teams in franchise history

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Apr 7, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Fans walk around outside of Coors Field before the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Fans walk around outside of Coors Field before the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
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Larry Walker played for the Colorado Rockies
Jul 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Canada first base coach Larry Walker (33) yells at the baserunner against Puerto Rico during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Ajax Pan Am Ballpark. Canada beat Puerto Rico 7-1 Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

3. 1997 Colorado Rockies (83-79)

The “Blake Street Bombers” were well known around the league by 1997, but the heart of the Rockies’ lineup shifted over the years and found a new home in the form of Larry Walker.

Dante Bichette’s production steadily declined after the ’95 season, and he hit just 26 home runs in 1997. Vinny Castilla and Andres Galarraga continued to put up 40-plus homers in to ’97, but the team lead belonged to Walker with 49 bombs.

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Not only did Walker lead the team in deep flies, but he hit an astonishing .366 with 130 RBI. His dominance did not go unnoticed through the year, and Walker was named the 1997 NL MVP. Walker also earned a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in ’97 to cement his spot as one of the greatest seasons in franchise history.

Once again the Rockies struggled in the pitching department in ’97, but there were a few notable performances as well. Roger Bailey took over as the club’s ace and posted a 9-10 record with a 4.29 ERA. Though the numbers don’t exactly jump off the page, his performance was enough to carry an otherwise lackluster rotation.

Bruce Ruffin lost his role as the team’s full-time closer, but Jerry Dipoto and Steve Reed combined for 22 saves in his absence.

Walker’s MVP performance along with a serviceable pitching staff and bullpen led the team to an eventual 83-79 record and a third place finish in the NL West. The best single-season performance in franchise history boosted the ’97 club to the third overall spot on the list.

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