At Home Run Derby, Trevor Story and Rockies fans share love of relationship nearing bitter end |

At Home Run Derby, Trevor Story and Rockies fans share love of relationship nearing bitter end

It was a good day to be a Story, as his mother is fond of saying. But it was also bittersweet evening for anyone who loves baseball in Denver and hates how Dick Monfort has messed up the franchise.

Mark Kiszla
The Denver Post
Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies speaks to Pete Alsonso of the New York Mets before they compete in the MLB Home Run Derby at Coors Field on Monday, July 12, 2021.
AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

With a clap of Rocky Mountain thunder in his bat, Colorado shortstop Trevor Story smacked the baseball 518 feet, far beyond the outfield wall, causing a capacity Coors Field crowd to “ooh” and “ah” at his display of fireworks in the Home Run Derby.

“Something I will cherish,” Story said Monday. “This will be a memory for a long time.”

It was a good day to be a Story, as his mother is fond of saying. But it was also a bittersweet evening for anyone who loves baseball in Denver. After six summers together in LoDo, our moments to share with Story have been reduced to precious and few.

With smoke from the wildfires in the western United States turning the Colorado sky from the true blue we cherish to a hazy shade of uncertainty, this big fireworks show by sluggers on the eve of the All-Star Game felt like the last best chance for Colorado fans to tell Story how much we appreciate all he has done since taking the field for the Rockies as a 23-year-old prospect back in 2016.

The trade deadline looms on July 30. With Story letting it known he has no interest in re-signing with Colorado at the conclusion of this season, he won’t be wearing purple when the calendar flips to August, unless Rockies management stubbornly and foolishly decides to squeeze every last inning out of him rather than trade a player that deserves far better than the mess owner Dick Monfort has made of this franchise.

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Are we witnessing the final days of Story in a Rockies uniform?

“Obviously it’s a possibility, right? I can’t really say for sure what I think. If I go out there and take care of business, those decisions are all out of my hands. I guess we’ll see,” Story acknowledged prior to the competition, won by Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

With rocket shots hot off his bat that did Big Cat, Vinny and all the old Blake Street Bombers proud, Story advanced out of the first round as an upstart No. 7 seed, upsetting Joey Gallo in dramatic fashion, winning by a single dinger, when the clock ran out on the Texas Rangers slugger.

The 20 homers swatted by Story in the opening round traveled a total distance of 1.66 miles. Put it this way: For those of you that try to get 5,000 steps every day, pause a minute after your 3,750th stride on your next summer stroll and you will know oh, the places a baseball running on Story power can go.

After giving Gallo a big hug at home plate, the Rockies shortstop turned to an appreciative audience and tipped his cap. Baseball is a business, which Story conducts with a relentless professionalism he brings to the ballpark, day-in and day-out during a year that was lost for the Rockies from the moment Nolan Arenado was traded to St. Louis in February.

When Story took a timeout to catch his breath between cuts, Arenado joined him near home plate to offer his former Colorado teammate encouragement, as well as to play cheerleader, exhorting the crowd to pump up a slugger growing wearier with every swing.

“Nolan’s competitive juices, I think, were flowing as high as mine were,” Story said. “He was hyping me up.”

Don’t know about you, but watching Arenado and Story bump fists was a painful reminder of what the Rockies could’ve been, if only the franchise was owned by somebody who loves baseball as much as we do. And the thought of saying goodbye to a city where your major-league dream came true can’t be easy on the heart beating inside Story’s chest.

“It’s a little bit of a weird feeling, for sure,” Story said. “Like I’ve said all year, I try to really stay in the present moment and not think too far ahead about what’s going to happen or what could happen. Right now, I’m really focused on being where my feet are and really trying to enjoy this experience of doing the Derby as a Colorado Rockie.”

Too pooped to pop in the semifinals, Story was eliminated by Trey Mancini of Baltimore. As he walked toward the home dugout, every fan wearing a replica No. 27 jersey stood and gave him an ovation.

Is this how Story’s time in Colorado ends?

“In the case that I’m not a Rockie, then yeah,” said Story, who is a shorstop, not a prophet. “That’s to be foreseen, and no one really knows how that’s going to play out.”

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