Gypsum’s No. 1 Rockies fan
GYPSUM , Colorado” Jade Ohde isn’t one of those Johnny-come-lately Colorado Rockies fans.
The Gypsum resident has been a huge Rockies fan since way before the team’s trip to the World Series last fall. She’s rooted for the team since “even before Larry Walker left.”
Jade, a freshman at Eagle Valley High School, has scrapbooks to prove her loyalty. Several three-ring notebooks are crammed with Rockies clippings culled from newspapers and game programs.
The centerpiece of Jade’s Rockies collection is a magazine feature about herself. She is the subject of a fan feature in the May issue of Colorado Rockies magazine. Jade’s zeal for the publication lead to the magazine interview.
Jade has been diagnosed with autism, a complex neurobiological disorder that impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate with other people. The disorder is characterized by repetitive behavior routines or the need to arrange things obsessively.
Jade has a razor-sharp focus for all things Rockies-related. She can rattle off the batting line-up and player numbers. Her favorite player is No. 17, Todd Helton.
While Jade subscribes to “Colorado Rockies” magazine, she also wanted access to past publications.
Andrea Ohde, Jade’s mother, said her daughter saw photographs of previous editions in subscription solicitation ads. Jade then wanted copies of these past editions. Andrea would call the ball club’s marketing department for assistance. She struck up a phone friendship with Marisol Villagomez, an assistant for advertising and marketing with the Rockies.
Villagomez was intrigued by Jade’s story and brought it to the attention of higher-ups in her department. On April 2, Jade and Andrea were invited to Coors Field for a special tour and an interview for the magazine.
Jade shared her Rockies devotion.
“Jade got everybody going in the stands during the World Series,” recalled Andrea. “She stood up and said ‘Would you people get louder!'”
During the tour, she passed by the infamous Rockies baseball humidor and told the guide how Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook were inside last year. Indeed they were, for a commercial that spoofed the humidor controversy.
And, while waiting for an elevator the mother and daughter were pleasantly surprised when the doors opened and Dinger, the Rockies’ mascot, stepped out. Jade got a hug from the purple dinosaur.
Andrea believes Jade’s interest in the Rockies is good medicine. As the magazine story notes, it is difficult for Jade to do math without the aid of a calculator or computer; but she is a walking Rockies statistics encyclopedia. Her devotion to the team brings her both joy and focus, her mom noted.
The Ohdes will return to Coors Field as guests of the Rockies on May 24 when Jade will be honored as a fan of the month. It will no doubt be a great memory-making moment, sure to get a full page or two spread in one of Jade’s Rockies scrapbooks.
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