Colorado Rockies: Watch Chad Bettis make his return to MLB (video)
By Kevin Henry
In a moment that has been highly anticipated since spring training, Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis returned to the mound at Coors Field on Monday night. Bettis made his start against the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a four-game series in Denver, marking his first appearance in a Major League contest since being diagnosed with testicular cancer late in 2016.
The battle that Bettis has fought has been well documented, starting with his initial diagnosis and surgery before Christmas and the revelation in March that he would have to undergo chemotherapy after discovering the cancer had spread. As expected, the return was emotion-filled as the Rockies played a special tribute to Bettis on the scoreboard and he was greeted by cheers from the crowd.
Well wishes had poured in throughout the day from around Major League Baseball in support of the 28-year-old right-hander. The hashtag #TogetherForBettis had been a reality since spring training but once again became a focus on Monday night as support boomed from around the world.
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Bettis last appeared on a Major League mound on September 30 when he allowed one run and eight hits over 6.2 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. It capped a month where Bettis went 3-1 with a 3.03 ERA, including a two-hit complete-game shutout of the San Francisco Giants on Labor Day in Denver.
The return of Bettis was not expected to give the Rockies an emotional lift but also provide a veteran presence to a young pitching staff who has Colorado tied for the National League Wild Card heading into Monday night’s action. Bettis could not only provide leadership but also a boost on the mound for a rotation that has relied on rookies for much of the campaign with the absence of Bettis, Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray at various times because of injuries.
Watch the two video of Bettis returning to Coors Field from Monday night below…