Monday, October 22, 2007

NLCS Colorado Rockies

Just thought I'd tell you about our NLCS Colorado Rockies road trip experience. I woke up on Friday Oct. 12th (my birthday) and thought, all I really want for my birthday is to see a NLCS playoff game or some sort of MLB playoff game. Well, I made the right contacts and that dream came to fruition. I searched online at ebay and decided to call my friend Greg (Lizard) Lindsay. He had four playoff tickets for Monday night but had already promised a coworker two of them. But he said he'd call me back Saturday to confirm. Fortunately for dad and I, the coworker had something come up so I called dad who was vacationing for 3-4 days in beautiful San Diego. He agreed to drive out to the game at the drop of a hat. We both got work off for two days in short notice. The drive was gorgeous! We traveled on I-70 through Avon, Veil and many other neat cities while listening to my Satellite radio. Dad got a kick out of listening to the sixties and some fifties. We even played name that tune and artist. We arrived at Greg and Lisa's home at 5:20 pm after a 7.5 hour drive. Greg welcomed us at his home in Aurora which is just outside of downtown Denver. Their house is very clean and the interior design was cool. We took off for Coors field around 5:50pm. Liz had parked in the same spot for each playoff game because he has the baseball superstitious mentality. In fact, when he pitched in HS, he would tell me to shout out a phrase during the game because it motivated him to focus more. He told me to say "Man on a Mission Liz!"and I said it whenever I dressed varsity as an underclassman. Anyways, Liz parked in his former spot which was slot 231 and he also carried a 2007 quarter in his pocket for each game. Amazingly, the Rockies never lost when he did. We entered the breathtaking Coors field at 6:30 pm even though the game didn't start until eight. To our astonishment, many others had the same idea. It was a clear night and about 48 degrees when we arrived. We first went into the gift shop inside the stadium and purchased a few Rockies memorabilia. I picked up a #5 Matt Holiday T-shirt and cap for Spencer and a miniature wooden bat for Kaden which they both love. Spencer even wants to be a Rockies ballplayer for Halloween. Greg then led us to our seats which were 22 rows behind the Diamondbacks dugout. Next up, we had to eat some dinner so we all headed up to the concession stand. Dad bought a fresh ground beef burger and I had to have a dog. We also grabbed a garlic fry to share along with a sprite. We sat in our seats and enjoyed seeing Arizona take batting practice while we reminisced with Greg. Several of Lizard's colleagues and former coworkers were in attendance. Liz made us laugh because many of them always passed on free baseball tickets during the regular season. Greg even pointed out a boss of his who was sporting a Rockies leather jacket which probably cost close to $300 dollars. Liz said, "He probably went out and bought that today to look cool." Even before the game began, dad and I felt the electricity in the stands. It was a sold out crowd and everyone was waving their Rockies towels for most of the night. We both turned to each other many times and said, "I can't believe we are here." It was a great ballgame to watch. There was some good pitching, along with excellent defense. SS Tulowitski jumped out of the building to rob a line drive base hit. We saw some great clutch hitting as well. Both teams elected to insert a pinch hitter with runners in scoring position and a three-run homerun and a two run double were the result. Arizona's first baseman booted an easy grounder which would have ended the fourth inning. But Matt Holiday stepped to the plate and made them pay with a three-run shot of his own to dead center. The ball traveled 452 feet. During the game, fans booed Eric Byrnes of Arizona for calling Colorado lucky. Rockies fans also chanted MVP whenever Holiday came to bat. I started feeling left out when everyone was raising their Coors bottles screaming MVP so I picked up an empty one and joined in on the fun. We all got a kick out of it. In the meantime, dad went to the restroom and witnessed several fans pounding on the walls and garbage cans saying, "We're going to the World Series!"It was definitely the most exciting atmosphere we all had ever experienced. The awards ceremony was so neat following the game. Holiday was the MVP and credited all of his teammates for the award. After the hour long celebration inside the park, we headed outside where many fans were seen dancing in the streets with brooms in their hands. We just had to pinch ourselves to feel that we were really there. Greg and Lisa were so kind to let us stay with them. We slept upstairs in our sleeping bags on top of their guest beds. In the morning, we awoke around nine and left. After a brief drive of downtown, we grabbed breakfast and headed back home. We listened intently to baseball talk on the satellite radio while thinking "We were there!" The Rockies have won 21 of 22 games dating back to the reg season. They're 7-0 in the playoffs and barely made the playoffs as a wild-card team. These boys couldn't care less about the Vegas odds makers. Not since 1976 has another team won seven straight playoff games and it was the Big Red machine but they weren't a wild card or any sort of an underdog. What a trip of a lifetime! Liz came through in the clutch just like the good old days for the Dons. Only one thing could've made it better and that's if all the Vest boys were there together. But we'll catch some more big games in the years to come. Now it's Rockies vs. Red Sox. Here's some pictures of our trip.