Fans rally for Rockies in Denver |

Fans rally for Rockies in Denver

Peter M. Fredin/APTina, left, and Daniel O'Donnell of Littleton. show their support of the Colorado Rockies at a fan appreciation rally hosted by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in Denver, on Wednesday.

DENVER ” Throngs of clapping and cheering fans turned out in chilly weather Wednesday to thank the Colorado Rockies for a nearly magical season, even though it ended abruptly with a four-game World Series sweep by the Boston Red Sox.

“I don’t know if I expected this many people to show up, but I tell you what, it means a lot,” pitcher Jeff Francis told the bundled-up crowd.

Police estimated the turnout at 5,000.

After Gov. Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper sang the team’s praises, Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle responded: “We couldn’t be more happy that a ballclub has been able to bring so much joy to so many people.”

“Thank you for the unconditional love, and thank you for the conditional love we picked up this season,” Hurdle said.

Left-fielder Matt Holliday, a potential MVP, had trouble making himself heard over the screaming fans.

“I wasn’t around when we had sellouts every night,” Holliday said, referring to the franchise’s early years. “But now that you’re here, I know what to expect next season.”

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