Rockies Insider: Looking back at five of Colorado’s best home openers

The Rockies’ home opener on Friday against San Diego will certainly have a different vibe, seeing as the teams will be playing in front of no fans and in the middle of a global pandemic.

But if Friday gives baseball fans any sort of action like the following games, we will all be in luck. Here’s a look at five notable home openers in franchise history:

April 2, 2001 — Mike Hampton dazzled in his club debut, tossing eight-plus shutout innings and allowing five hits as the Rockies blanked the Cardinals 8-0. But Hampton, who signed a then-record eight-year, $121 million contract the prior offseason, turned out to be the club’s biggest free-agent bust ever.

April 4, 2005 — Coors Canaveral can produce some exciting comebacks, and such was the case this day as the Rockies rallied from a 10-8 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to beat Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman and the Padres 12-10. The winning stroke was a two-out, two-run homer by Clint Barmes.

April 4, 2014 — Charlie Blackmon went off in his first opening day start in Denver, batting 6-for-6 as the leadoff with a homer, three doubles and five RBIs as the Rockies routed the Diamondbacks 12-2. Chuck Nazty went on to earn his first all-star nod that year.

April 26, 1995 — In the first game at Coors Field, the Rockies battled through the springtime cold to beat the Mets 11-9. Outfielder Dante Bichette sealed the marathon victory (game time: four hours, 49 minutes) with a walk-off, three-run homer in the 14th inning, which he accented with a now-iconic celebratory fist pump.

April 9, 1993 — Colorado’s first home opener, held at Mile High Stadium, is hard to top. A crowd of 80,227 turned out for the 3:05 p.m. game to see the Rockies beat the Expos 11-4. Eric Young Sr.’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the first was the perfect omen for big-league baseball at elevation.

— Kyle Newman, The Denver Post

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Quick Hits

+ Bryan Shaw blames Coors Field and Denver’s mile-high altitude for poor Rockies run

+ Rockies’ bullpen passes early test but can it have sustained success?

+ Seven years after his last big-league game, Daniel Bard leads Rockies to win over Rangers

+ Trevor Story ignoring negative predictions about Rockies in 2020

+ Kyle Freeland’s delivery is different, but fiery intensity still fuels Rockies lefty

+ Rockies’ Tim Collins opts out of 2020 season; Michael Toglia joins Colorado’s player pool

+ David Peterson, Regis Jesuit grad, wins in big-league debut with Mets

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If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at [email protected] or tweet me @beetbailey.

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