There’s no way to get around it. It’s going to be awkward and sad to see Nolan Arenado run out to third base for the Fourth of July series against the St. Louis Cardinals and All-Star game at Coors Field not wearing purple pinstripes for the Colorado Rockies.
Seeing that Cardinals jersey is going to be more unsettling than those 2021 All-Star game jerseys. Is that blue tropical flower trim on the jerseys? Nothing screams Colorado like something you’d see on your dad’s old Hawaiian t-shirt. Maybe that’s a topic for another day.
There is an ad banner outside of Coors Field on the third base side of all places between McGregor Square on 20th with Arenado in a Cardinals jersey advertising the All-Star Game. It feels like an insult to injury for Rockies fans. It will help that St. Louis is coming to town for the Fourth of July weekend to get everyone familiar with Arenado wearing red.
So how should Colorado Rockies fans react to Nolan Arenado’s return to Denver as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals?
No matter how many times we see him lining up for the other team, reminders of the trade will always be too soon. It’s fair to say we’ll never get used to him wearing another uniform. But Rockies fans are some of the best because they show up through thick and thin.
Judging by the fans’ standing ovation reaction to German Marquez’s near no-hitter, the Coors Field faithful know how to give credit where it is due to Rockies greats.
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Case in point, It happened when Matt Holliday came back to Coors when he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and especially when Troy Tulowitzki came back after he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.
That situation felt very similar to how Arenado departed. Former GM Jeff Bridich traded Tulowitzki and the star shortstop felt blindsided. Arenado felt disrespected by Bridich and traded him to another team with a bird mascot. Bridich won the day at the fan’s and team’s expense.
Regardless, when Tulowitzki came back, Coors Field was packed and when he stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat, it didn’t seem like there wasn’t a fan in the house that didn’t rise to their feet.
That’s exactly what he deserved. He was not only one of the best Rockies ever but one of the best shortstops in the 21st century. While he had trouble staying on the field, when he hit the diamond it was electrifying to see him play. He made you proud to be a Rockies fan.
That’s exactly what Arenado deserves that and more. It’s our job to give Arenado the roses while he can still smell them. Tulo mentored Arenado and he became arguably the greatest Rockie ever and one of the best third basemen in the history of the game.
No one should blame Arenado for how it ended in Denver. He gave everything for this franchise and there was no plan in place to get better after two lost seasons after back-to-back playoff appearances.
If Arenado quit on this team, maybe the reaction would be different. That’s not even close to the case though. It’s going to be awful seeing him in another uniform but it will be one of the easiest things ever to give him a standing ovation and round of applause.
And there’s a perfect opportunity to do that…
You can guarantee Rockies fans won’t disappoint there. Because Nolan didn’t disappoint us. Thanks for all you’ve done for this city, Nolan. Wishing you all of the best wherever you are.