Colorado Rockies: A Blake Street Bombers revival?
By Aaron Hurt
In 1995, Dante Bichette, Andres Galarraga, Vinny Castilla and Larrry Walker hit a lot of home runs. They hit so many home runs that a legacy was created for the Colorado Rockies. All four players hit at least 30 home runs in ’95 and four out of the next five seasons, the Rockies would go on to have four players each hit a minimum of 30 dingers in a particular season. This feat earned those power hitters in the lineup the nickname, “The Blake Street Bombers.”
Regrettably, even though half their games were played in the rare altitude of Coors Field, this has not been accomplished since 1999 when Bichette (34 HR), Castilla (33), Todd Helton (35), and Walker (37) all hit over 30 long balls. In fact, the last time a Rockies team had three players do this was in 2019, when Nolan Arenado (41), Charlie Blackmon (32), and Trevor Story (35) did it. Coincidently it is the last time the Rockies made the playoffs. That could all change in 2022.
Could the Colorado Rockies have a Blake Street Bombers revival in 2022?
After a couple of surprising moves the past few days, it looks like Colorado Rockies GM Bill Schmidt may be trying to revive his own version of the Blake Street Bombers.
Schmidt was able to sign former NL MVP Kris Bryant to a lucrative seven-year, $182 million deal and trade outfielder Raimel Tapia to the Toronto Blue Jays for slugger Randal Grichuk.
Bryant already has a pair of 30+ home run seasons under his belt and is coming off a 2021 season where he hit 25 combined homers between his time with the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. Grichuk is also known for being a threat to go yard as he hit a career-high 31 HR in 2019 and has multiple seasons where he hit 20-plus balls over the fence.
They are joining a lineup that already has C.J. Cron, who hit 28 bombs in a so-called “comeback/prove it” season in 2021 and Ryan McMahon, who just signed a six-year, $70 million contract extension where many have been waiting for him to finally find consistency and become a breakout star after hitting 23 homers last season.
There is also Sam Hilliard who has plenty of pop in his bat that could make a run at hitting 30 homers as long as he finds a way not to be feast or famine at the plate. The adaptation of the designated hitter in the National League should also allow him to stay in the lineup even though the outfield is extremely crowded with Grichuk, Charlie Blackmon, Connor Joe, Yonathan Daza, and Garrett Hampson.
These four or perhaps five might not have the name recognition of the original Blake Street Bombers but they have the chance to join a legacy that is almost 30 years in the making.