Mile High Game At Coors Field

Finishing this up from the weekend while I watch the Mariners take on the Orioles at Camden Yards.

I needed to relax after Saturday’s game, so I didn’t recap when I was actually in Denver, but Saturday in general was more of a kickback game for me; I just wanted to chill, take pictures, have some fun and not pay too much attention to things. Matt and Beth and I wound up going downtown to B’s Baseball Museum, but it was closed for a while, so we wandered next door into a place called Swanky’s, which was a bit of a surprise for Matt, who is a huge Packers fan. The owner is from Milwaukee, and maintains this divey sports spot half a block from Coors Field. They have five blended drinks in slushy machines that they are apparenly well-known for among locals, and the menu features some nice simple bar food, and, wonderfully, fried cheese curds. Matt had been completely unaware of it before we walked in, and now has a place to go watch games on massive pull-down screens during football season. The three of us hung around for about an hour and a half, then visited B’s around three and were in there for an hour I have photos and information from there, too, but that will be posted later this week as I can get back into a proper sleeping and work schedule.

Back to Coors, though, we stopped off at The Sandlot once the lower concourse opened to grab another horchata ale, and then took an elevator upstairs to the 300 level to invesitage The Rooftop and whatever else they had to offer up there. On the way up, there was music being pumped through the PA all over the park, something I thought was an elevator version of a pop song; but it turned out to be a four-woman string ensemble playing pop music while pulling some pretty sweet dance moves and generally rocking out.  The area up there is kind of an open party space with a footbridge, couches, a giant Jenga set, and at least one cornhole setup. I probably could have just stayed there all game; you can see the city behind the park, and the sky with the weather coming at you (and that night’s weather was cold and windy), and it’s a neat space to hang out in – but I was thankful we had gone to our seats, as it was quite crowded by the time the game was underway. Given my vantage point, I took some pictures, which don’t really do the area much justice. It’s actually a far nicer spot to hang out than anything I’ve found online could capture in a photo.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.11.25 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.11.45 PMIn case you forget how far up you are, they have this to remind you! It is exactly the same level as the purple row of seats, also.Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.12.00 PMYou can sort of see the band there under the awning.

Looking out towards center from behind the sign:

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.12.20 PMAnd downstairs on the 300-level concourse below:

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.12.35 PMThe three of us mutually decided that we should head towards our seats about an hour or so before game time, and Matt pointed out some stadium art and a warning!

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.12.47 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.12.58 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.13.09 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.13.21 PMAnd yes, that is a designated smoking section inside the park. I’ve only been to five stadiums, but this is the first one I’ve seen.

As we walked to section 331, I couldn’t take the suspense anymore and bought a stuffed Dinger toy, and went to our seats while Matt and Beth searched for lunch. And finally, after four years of thinking I’d never get there, I was there. Mile high at Coors Field.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.13.32 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.13.55 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.14.42 PMBeth and Matt rejoined me shortly, and we all put on a few more layers of hoodies and jackets, and bundled ourselves against the cold as the pre-game ceremonies were getting started. Another school choir did the National Anthem – slightly older kids this time – and we settled in for the game.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.14.54 PMThe Rockies standing for the National Anthem.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.15.04 PMPainted grass at home plate.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.15.40 PMEither the Rockies bullpen has no rookies, or there is something in store for them other than pink backpacks.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.15.55 PMUmps and managers meet, with kid representatives (several children had been on the field earlier) prior to things getting started.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.17.36 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.18.02 PMEddie Butler, doing what he does.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.18.26 PMWe were of course a little far away, and my pictures are not great. We were farther than you’d be at a Mariners game sitting in the same section and row. Coors Field apparently holds over 50,000, and the idea was to build up rather than out. This allows for a fantastic view of just about everything, but makes taking close ups more difficult than at Safeco.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.18.38 PMThe Mets came out of this game with four runs total, but Logan Verrett collapsed in the bottom of the 3rd, loading the bases several times, walking in a run, allowing multiple hits and really just handing the game to Colorado. This was fine with me, of course, and nice that Matt and Beth got to see a win on their first trip to the stadium together (they are mostly hockey and football fans, and had never set foot in the park before).

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.18.58 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.19.57 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.20.10 PMI was chatting with Mariners friends back home that night, as the Mariners game against the Angels was getting ready to start. Mariners marketer extraordinaire Kevin Martinez tweeted at me to watch the right field digital board at the bottom of each inning, so I did, and lo and behold, amid the handful of greetings for birthdays and groups, this popped up:

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.20.21 PMAnd it kept coming up at the end of every inning. Yes, I was appropriately impressed and humbled. I was told to also watch for something that was supposd to happen at the bottom of the 6th, but either I missed it, or the AV team at Coors didn’t have the time or space to fit it in. Whatever the case, this was a nice gesture from the Mariners, and I am still incredulous that it happened. Also, thankful for cameras, as I don’t know that anyone would have believed me.

Around the 4th inning or so, I was finally getting a little hungry (the tots and cheese curds I’d consumed at Swanky’s were wearing off), so I decided to go grab a dog. The Extreme Dogs kiosk was supposed to be right at the bottom of the section (and I did see the one downstairs), but it was replaced by something called Biker Jim’s. Matt told me that this was a Denver thing, kind of a spot that people go for hot dogs after a night of drinking, so I decided to give them a shot rather than go all the way back downstairs for my original food plan.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.20.38 PMThis is an elk sausage with jalepeno, and Sonoran dog toppings. And it was delicious. Sometimes veering away from the original plan is worth the unknown. Back upstairs, the Rockies were still hammering away at Mets pitching.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.22.01 PMDJ LeMahieu, taking a pitch outside in the dirt.

In the third inning (yes, I’m backtracking a bit) while Logan Verrett was getting shelled, Rockies catcher Tony Wolters may or may not have fouled a ball off, and Mets manager Terry Collins did not like the call he got, and decided to argue it. This was my view of Collins getting run, to the delight of just about everyone seated at the park.

The Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.21.17 PM The photo at the link shows the ump actually waving him off the field. Collins claimed that this cost them the game, but I don’t know that the Mets were ever meant to win that one; the Rockies were already well into their 7-run total by the time this argument occurred. We might have gotten some extras out of it, but I don’t know that this event not happening would have made things any better for the Mets. They replaced their pitching not too long after the 3rd was over.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.22.42 PMTrying to remember every little thing about the game itself without the aid of Game Day (it seems to close access to old play-by-play information after the series are over) would be too difficult, but what I can tell you is that I braved the cold for the whole nine innings with the help of some blankets and hot chocolate.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.23.23 PMWrapped up like a burrito in a Mariners fleece blanket.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.23.38 PMI took this shot and ones like it several times; probably out of continuing disbelief that I was actually there.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.23.50 PMAn unidentified reliever comes in for the Rockies. It might have been Gonzalez Germen, but like I said earlier, I was not paying a high amount of attention to some of the intricacies of the game. I do have more Trevor Story pictures. He was a treat to watch, even when holding up his swing or whiffing.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.24.22 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.24.36 PMAnd then Jake McGee came in again to close things out (but not really close them out).

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.24.52 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.26.33 PMAnd the win could not have come at a better time; I was starting to lose feeling in my hands and toes, and Beth had long prior pulled her hood up around her face, and there was a bit of rain threatening to fall.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.26.46 PMAnd Dinger with the flag!

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.26.56 PMThe three of us traipsed back to the parking lot Beth wound up in as a light rain started, amid cheering from fans, music being pumped from bars in the area (of which there are an amazing number), and the shouts and sounds of weekend nighttime revelry coming from people all over the sidewalk and more pedal pubs than you can shake a stick at (this is a hugely popular thing in Denver, from what I observed over two nights in that area).

My trip was a good one. I had a lot more fun than I expected to, which is impressive because I expect a lot of fun out of baseball. I got to try new food and drink, see a new park, and fulfill a baseball bucket list item. It was definitely worth the hassle of the flight I had to take to get there. Now, to start saving up for a trip to Chicago next year; I’d like to do more than just drive around the outside of Wrigley Field.

 

 

 

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