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The Colorado Rockies are an American professional baseball team based in Denver. The Rockies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. The team plays its home baseball games at Coors Field, which is located in the Lower Downtown area of Denver. It is owned by the Monfort brothers and managed by Bud Black.
The Rockies began play as an expansion team for the 1993 season, and played their home games for their first two seasons at Mile High Stadium. Since 1995, they have played at Coors Field, which has earned a reputation as a hitter's park. The Rockies have qualified for the postseason five times, each time as a Wild Card winner. In 2007, the team earned its first (and only) NL pennant after winning 14 of their final 15 games in the regular season to secure a Wild Card position, capping the streak off with a 13 inning 9-8 victory against the San Diego Padres in the tiebreaker game affectionately known as "Game 163" by Rockies fans. The Rockies then proceeded to sweep the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS and NLCS respectively and entered the 2007 World Series as winners of 21 of their last 22 games. However, they were swept by the American League (AL) champions Boston Red Sox in four games.
From 1993 to 2021, the Rockies have an overall record of 2,133–2,401 (.470 winning percentage).
Denver had long been a hotbed of Denver Bears / Zephyrs minor league baseball as far back as the late 19th century with the original Denver Bears (or Grizzlies) competing in the Western League before being replaced in 1955 by a AAA team of the same name. Residents and businesses in the area desired a Major League team. Denver's Mile High Stadium was built originally as Denver Bears Stadium, a minor league baseball stadium that could be upgraded to major league standards. Several previous attempts to bring Major League Baseball to Colorado had failed. In 1958, New York lawyer William Shea proposed the new Continental League as a rival to the two existing major leagues. In 1960, the Continental League announced that play would begin in April 1961 with eight teams, including one in Denver headed by Bob Howsam. The new league quickly evaporated, without ever playing a game, when the National League reached expansion agreements to put teams in New York City and Houston, removing much of the impetus behind the Continental League effort. Following the Pittsburgh drug trials in 1985, an unsuccessful attempt was made to purchase the Pittsburgh Pirates and relocate them. However, in January 1990, Colorado's chances for a new team improved significantly when Coors Brewing Company became a limited partner with the AAA Denver Zephyrs.
In 1991, as part of Major League Baseball's two-team expansion (along with the Florida (now Miami) Marlins), an ownership group representing Denver led by John Antonucci and Michael I. Monus was granted a franchise. They took the name "Rockies" due to Denver's proximity to the Rocky Mountains, which is reflected in their logo; the name was previously used by the city's first NHL team (who are now known as the New Jersey Devils). Monus and Antonucci were forced to drop out in 1992 after Monus's reputation was ruined by an accounting scandal. Trucking magnate Jerry McMorris stepped in at the 11th hour to save the franchise, allowing the team to begin play in 1993. The Rockies shared Mile High Stadium with the National Football League (NFL)'s Denver Broncos for their first two seasons while Coors Field was constructed. It was completed for the 1995 Major League Baseball season.
In 1993, they started play in the West division of the National League. That year the Rockies set the all-time Major League record for attendance, drawing an incredible 4,483,350 fans (a record that stands to this day). The Rockies were MLB's first team based in the Mountain Time Zone. They have reached the Major League Baseball postseason five times, each time as the National League wild card team. Twice (1995 and 2009) they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. In 2007, the Rockies advanced to the World Series, only to be swept by the Boston Red Sox. The team's stretch run was among the greatest ever for a Major League Baseball team. Having a record of 76-72 at the start of play on September 16, the Rockies proceeded to win 14 of their final 15 regular season games. The stretch culminated with a 9-8, 13-inning victory over the San Diego Padres in a one-game playoff for the wild card berth. Colorado then swept their first seven playoff games to win the NL pennant (thus, at the start of the World Series, the Rockies had won a total of 21 out of 22 games). Fans and media nicknamed their improbable run in October, Rocktober.
Colorado made postseason berths in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, the Rockies became the first team since the 1922 Philadelphia Phillies to play in four cities against four teams in five days, including the 162nd game of the regular season, NL West tie-breaker, NL Wild Card Game and NLDS Game 1, eventually losing to the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS.
Like their expansion brethren, the Miami Marlins, they have never won a division title since their establishment and they, along with the Pittsburgh Pirates are also one of three MLB teams that have never won their current division. The Rockies have played their home games at Coors Field since 1995. Their newest spring training home, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona, opened in March 2011 and is shared with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On June 1, 2006, USA Today reported that Rockies management, including manager Clint Hurdle, had instituted an explicitly Christian code of conduct for the team's players, banning men's magazines (such as Maxim and Playboy) and sexually explicit music from the team's clubhouse. The article sparked controversy, and soon-after The Denver Post published an article featuring many Rockies players contesting the claims made in the USA Today article. Former Rockies pitcher Jason Jennings said: "[The article in USA Today] was just bad. I am not happy at all. Some of the best teammates I have ever had are the furthest thing from Christian", Jennings said. "You don't have to be a Christian to have good character. They can be separate. [The article] was misleading."
On October 17, 2007, a week before the first game of the 2007 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, the Colorado Rockies announced that tickets were to be available to the general public via online sales only, despite prior arrangements to sell the tickets at local retail outlets. Five days later on October 22, California-based ticket vendor Paciolan, Inc., the sole contractor authorized by the Colorado Rockies to distribute tickets, was forced to suspend sales after less than an hour due to an overwhelming number of attempts to purchase tickets. An official release from the baseball organization claimed that they were the victims of a denial of service attack. These claims, however, were unsubstantiated and neither the Rockies nor Paciolan have sought investigation into the matter. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation started its own investigation into the claims. Ticket sales resumed the next day, with all three home games selling out within two and a half hours.
In March 2021, Ken Rosenthal and Nick Groke reported in The Athletic that, during the 2020 season, the Rockies had made baseball operations personnel work as clubhouse attendants in addition to their front office duties, resulting in work days lasting up to 17 hours. Former staffers described doing laundry for players while team personnel asked them for scouting and statistical information. The article further described a general atmosphere of dysfunction and unaccountability in Colorado's front office. General manager Jeff Bridich resigned the following month.