We all know that Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, has a reputation around the league for being “a hitter’s park.” After all, when you play at altitude, crazy things can happen, right? High-scoring games, balls flying out of the park with ease, Giancarlo Stanton smashing one past all of the seats in left field and so on and so on and so on. The inside joke of Rockies Twitter is any time something happens that is out of the ordinary, a simple “Coors” is all that is needed to explain it.
Playing at Coors Field makes it easy for the nation to scoff at any marks put up by Nolan Arenado or Charlie Blackmon as the days tick down toward the announcement of this year’s Most Valuable Player. Yet something happened on Monday night that should hopefully remind all of us that Coors things happen at stadiums other than Coors Field.
Thanks in part to a three-run home run by Todd Frazier, the New York Yankees downed the Houston Astros 8-1 at Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Take a look at the home run swing below.
Yes, that swing produced a three-run shot in a championship series that helped the Yankees pull within a game of the Astros heading into Tuesday’s Game 4 at Yankee Stadium. USA Today has a very fitting way to describe it in the opening of their game recap.
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During the regular season, Yankee Stadium saw 243 home runs fly over the fence. That is one less than Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati and 19 less than the MLB-leading 262 that were blasted at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. At Coors Field, by the way this season, 208 homers were recorded. Great American Ball Park, Chase Field and Wrigley Field each had more home runs than Coors.
Yankee Stadium is 314 feet down the right field line and 318 down the left field line. Coors Field is 347 feet down the left field line and 350 feet down the right field line.
Want a statistical breakdown? Check out this great article from Manny Randhawa of MLB.com on homers during the Statcast era. At the time, Coors Field was number 2 in homers that were neither barreled nor solidly struck behind … yep, you guessed it … Yankee Stadium.
If Frazier had connected on that swing at Coors Field, can you imagine the uproar around the country about what a gimmick ballpark Denver has and how playing at altitude isn’t real baseball? Remember former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and his endearing “pinball baseball” comment earlier in the season?
Let’s make sure to remember that every stadium has its own “home field advantage” in one way or another. Let’s also remember that if you’re going to crucify baseball in Denver for big outfields and altitude, you should do the same because of short fences in the Bronx.