Some might view playing in a high-altitude environment as a disadvantage, but the Colorado Rockies have used their geographic quirk to establish themselves as one of the most consistently outstanding offensive teams around. Since their opening day in 1993, home runs have flown out of the ballpark time and time again, much to the delight of fans in the Mile High City.
The idea of adding expansion teams to the league was first floated in 1985, but it wasn't until 1991 that Denver got word that they would be receiving a franchise of their own. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the newest addition to Major League Baseball would be known as the Rockies. Before having signed a single player, Colorado made a stylish impression by becoming the first team to sport purple stripes on their uniforms.
In their inaugural season, the Rox set the record for most wins by a National League expansion team. Even more impressive, the first-year Colorado franchise shattered attendance records and became the fastest team to have three million fans pass through the gates. They'd finish that first season having hosted more than four million spectators, a mark good enough for the single season attendance record at the time.
In 1995, the team began playing at Coors Field. Supporters followed them to their new digs, setting off a streak of 203 consecutive sellout games. One of the more impressive features of the ballpark is the presence of Blue Moon Brewery, which opened its doors that first season and has been serving up frosty pints ever since.
On the field, players such as Andres Galarraga, Vinny Castilla, and Dante Bichette emerged as fan favorites. Other offensive stalwarts such as Larry Walker, Ellis Burks, and Mike Kingery developed, and soon the heart of the Rockies lineup became known as the Blake Street Bombers -- named so because of their penchant for launching home runs out of the stadium. This six-pack of sluggers led Colorado to a playoff appearance in 1995.
At the tail end of the '97 season, first baseman Todd Helton made his debut with the ball club. Over the course of the next 17 seasons, "The Toddfather" became one of the most prolific hitters in all of baseball. A member of five All-Star teams and winner of three Gold Gloves, Helton's best season came in 2000 when he led the league with a .372 batting average while also smacking 42 home runs and driving in 147 RBI. Helton hung up his spikes in 2013 and had his #17 retired the following year.
The Rox would make the playoffs in both 2007 and 2009, but weren't able to seal the deal either time. Supporters haven't been deterred though, and why should they be? Players may come and go, but the fans who visit Coors Field are still counted in the millions. The beer is still cold, Dinger the Dino still doles out high fives to anyone who wants one, and the Rocky Mountains still serve as a majestic backdrop for a baseball game. When you really think about it, the Rockies win every time they step out on the field.