Colorado Rockies history: The team’s first ever win in their home opener

DENVER - APRIL 1993: A general view of Mile High Stadium during the MLB game between the Montreal Expos and the Colorado Rockies circa April 1993 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images)
DENVER - APRIL 1993: A general view of Mile High Stadium during the MLB game between the Montreal Expos and the Colorado Rockies circa April 1993 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images) /
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Twenty five years ago today, the Colorado Rockies won their first game as a franchise of Major League Baseball.

For the 1993 MLB season, the city of Denver received a MLB team that would be named the Colorado Rockies. They played their first game on April 5, 1993 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. They would face the Mets in a two game series and they would be swept by the Mets. In fact, the Rockies only scored a combined one run in the two games.

However, after that two game series, they would come to Denver to play the franchise’s first home game at Mile High Stadium against the now-defunct Montreal Expos.

For the Expos, their manager Felipe Alou started Kent Bottenfield (who would be traded to the Rockies later in the season) against the Rockies. The Rockies and their manager Don Baylor opposed with former Expo pitcher Bryn Smith.

Here’s the Expos lineup for that day:

  1. Future Rockie Mike Lansing, 2B
  2. Moises Alou, RF
  3. Marquis Grissom, CF
  4. Frank Bolick, 3B
  5. John Vander Wal, LF
  6. Wil Cordero, SS
  7. Tim Laker, C
  8. Archi Cianfrocco, 1B
  9. Kent Bottenfield, SP

Don Baylor sent out this lineup:

  1. Eric Young, 2B
  2. Alex Cole, CF
  3. Dante Bichette, RF
  4. Andres Galarraga, 1B
  5. Charlie Hayes, 3B
  6. Jerald Clark, LF
  7. Joe Girardi, C
  8. Freddie Benavides, SS
  9. Bryn Smith, SP

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The Rockies would win by a score of 11-4 in front of 80,227 Rockies fans. The Rockies got it going early as they had a four run first inning with two home runs by Eric Young and Charlie Hayes and a RBI single by Dante Bichette.

The Rockies’ fifth run scored on a single from Alex Cole and an error by Alou in the second inning and their sixth and seventh runs scored in the fourth from a sac fly by Bichette and a RBI single by Andres Galarraga, which made it 7-0.

The Rockies would have for more RBI singles from Benavides, Young, Dale Murphy (who came in the game for Bichette in the 7th), and Andres Galarraga.

The Expos would score all four of their runs in the ninth but it was too little to late since they entered the inning down 11-0.

Bryn Smith pitched very well for the Rockies as he went seven scoreless innings allowing only six hits, no walks, and one strikeout. There was only a combined four strikeouts for both teams, and one was on a foul bunt and only one was called by plate umpire Mike Winters (who’s still an umpire today, best know for arguing with Milton Bradley at first base and Bradley tore his ACL while arguing (and this game was against the Rockies and it was win number eight in the Rockies’ 2007 Rocktober streak).

However, it was a, what turned out to be, classic Rockies win due to offense. As mentioned, they scored 11 runs but they were also 7-for-18 with runners in scoring position, which went a long way in helping them to victory.

Next: Walt Weiss is liking the transition from manager to coach

Stay tuned throughout the season for other moments that are historical in Rockies franchise history.

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