Tonight at 6:05 p.m. Mountain Time, the Colorado Rockies will throw their first official pitch in Coors Field to kick off the 2020 season.
We Love Opening Day at Coors Field
For most of the last decade, we’ve considered at the Rockies Home Opener as a bit of a holiday. Usually, the game falls on a Friday afternoon in early April. We both take the day off work and take the Light Rail down to Denver early, so we don’t miss a moment of the pre-game festivities. Bars and restaurants all around LoDo open early for breakfast and beers. You can catch local news stations and sports radio broadcasting from the street surrounding the stadium, as you wander from one place to another. Usually, we’ll start around LoDo’s Bar & Grill or The Tavern. When the crowds get too big or the beer lines get too long, we’ll head over to Swanky’s or Tap Fourteen. We always make a point to stop at 1Up for some cheap beer and arcade games, before moving next door to Falling Rock Tap House for the really good beers. At Falling Rock, we’ll have a few craft brews before we reluctantly head back out into the world of macro lagers. It’s around this point we typically find ourselves wandering down to Larimer Street and Scruffy Murphys, where we have a few more cheap beers and maybe splurge on a pickle shot. Because why not, it’s opening day!
After the bar-hopping, we head towards Coors Field. The streets are full of energy before a game, but never more so than on Opening Day. We’ll visit whatever sponsors have tents out and pick up some free energy drinks, sunflower seeds, or whatever other freebies they’re handing out on that particular day. If we have cash left we’ll buy a game ball and get it branded with our favorite player’s number. More often than not, we decide to splurge on new Rockies baseball caps, hoping these will be our lucky hats for the new season. Then, after buying a few bags of peanuts and pistachios from the vendors outside the stadium, we’ll head on inside for the game.
The 2020 Stay-At-Home Opener
Tonight the Colorado Rockies will play the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. However, things are different in 2020.
For us, playing hooky from work in early April to see the first baseball game of the season is a great reminder that summer is around the corner. Yes, it’s usually followed by several more weeks of unpredictable spring weather, including snow. Still, the start of baseball is as good an indicator as any that we’ve made it through the worst of winter. Spring baseball is the hope and the promise that warm, sunny days are on the horizon. But since COVID-19 caused the season to be delayed until July, we really missed out on that. So it’s great that baseball is finally here, but that doesn’t change the fact that summer is already half over. If anything, it is just another reminder of all the things we’re going to miss this year.
In addition to missing our usual April shenanigans, today we can’t be out there celebrating with crowds of other Denverites in LoDo, enjoying cheap hot dogs and overpriced beers. We’re not buying new Rockies caps or getting free Opening Day swag. We won’t be inside Coors Field to sing along with the Outfield when Charlie Blackmon steps up to plate or to enjoy a few pints of Blue Moon at the Sandlot. When the game starts tonight, we’ll be excited to see our home team in our home stadium. But we’ll be sad that we can’t be there, sitting outside in the sun, drinking a beer, busting open peanut shells. Singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch will be a bit melancholy since we can’t actually go out to the ball game this season. The Home Opener will still be fun to watch, but it won’t be anywhere near the same.
That being said…
If there is one thing we American’s know how to do, it’s how to make the best of a bad situation. We’re happy that the MLB was able to return, albeit for a shortened season. We’re excited to hear the walk-up songs and the fake crowd noises and look forward to seeing all the cardboard faces in the stands, as corny as they may be. To get ourselves in the proper Home Opener mood we picked up some hot dogs, a bag of peanuts, and some Fiddle Faddle (because they were out of Cracker Jacks.) If the weather holds up we may move the TV out to the deck, to really get in the mood. And you know there will be beer. Better, much less expensive beer. So while it’s not the same, and we’re still bummed out about the weird turn that the pandemic made us all take this year, it’s something. And for that, we’re grateful.
So even if we’re a bit bummed out, we’re still excited that the Colorado Rockies will be playing in Denver tonight. We look forward to cheering from home this season because that’s the best we can do right now. Does it suck a little? For sure. But it’s better than nothing, and we’ll take what we can get. Next year, we plan on being there in the stands, cheering louder than ever in our new Rockies baseball caps. We can’t wait.
As the great Yogi Bera said, “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.” Ain’t that the truth.