A few locals have stuck with the Rockies
EAGLE COUNTY ” As the Colorado Rockies head into the National League Championship Series, folks from throughout the state are piling on the baseball bandwagon.
But when talk turns to true-blue ” make that “true-purple” ” supporters, there’s a batch of local folks relishing the squad’s late season heroics. They’ve stayed faithful to the Rockies as the team finished dead last in the division; and as fair-weather fans filtered away from Coors Field.
“I’ll be gracious to all the people who come back. But I want to say ‘I told you so,'” admits Carol Warner, a Rockies fanatic.
“I’m just glad that people are figuring out picnics are more fun than wars. Football is a war,” says Fred Bapp of Eagle, another Rockies aficionado.
“It’s just a different kind of sport. In football you are trying to destroy the other person. In baseball, you are trying to out skill them,” he says.
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Bapp, who moved to Colorado in 1983 from Texas, says he embraced the Rockies when the team debuted back in 1993. “My daughter Robyn gave me a Rockies keychain that first year that I’m still carrying,” he says.
Bapp grew up watching baseball. He and his father would follow teams in the old Longhorn League, traveling to Roswell, N.M. for games. That’s part of the magic of baseball, he says ” it evokes those great memories.
He was in the stands at Coors field Saturday night when the team completed it sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. “Watching the Rockies in the playoffs from the third tier in right field was like watching toy soldiers do battle while chugging Red Bull,” he laughs, “The crowd is the game.”
He predicts that the Rockies will beat the Arizona Diamondbacks six or seven games. Bapp anticipates a Rockies-Red Sox World Series.
“Todd Helton is my probably my favorite player because he as been there through all of the drought. If they win, that will be a special part of it,” Bapp says.
How extreme of a Rockies fan is Carol Warner? She once bought a GMC Jimmy because ti was advertised as “Rockies purple.”
“I wouldn’t even look at any other cars. My husband was asking, ‘What about the engine?'” says Warner, a Gypsum resident and Edwards business owner.
A Los Angeles native, Warner grew up as a Dodgers fan. When the team moved to Los Angelese in 1959, her father bought season tickets. She has great memories of summer days spent at the ball park.
Warner moved to Colorado in 1981 and bemoaned the fact that the state didn’t have its own baseball team. Once the Rockies came to town, she switched allegiances. Her heart has belonged to the team ever since.
“We used to have season tickets right above the right field score board. Larry Walker would throw balls to my daughter Cassidy all the time,” she says.
Carol and Cassidy were in their seats to watch the Rockies beat Arizona and force a wildcard playoff with San Diego. It was a closing day to remember, she says.