July 23. It’s a simple date, but today marks the 13-year anniversary of my first trip to Coors Field.
Who knew it would transform my life and who knew the game would be so historical?
To be honest, I don’t remember much about the game.
I know the Rockies played the New York Mets.
I also recall my grandma, who took me to the game, teaching me that the home team wore white while the visitors were in gray.
Besides that, the last thing I remember about the game is joining the crowd with boos after the Rockies let up a home run. My grandma told me booing players was not polite.
Looking back at the game, it turns out we were booing a six-run sixth inning for the Mets, who tied the game that inning after the Rockies once led 7-0.
Upon looking back at the box scores, it turns out my first game at Coors Field was one heck of a game. It’s a shame I can’t remember anything from it, but that game was the first of an endless amount to come. Who couldn’t be turned on to the sport of baseball seeing 21 runs, 31 hits and a game-winning, walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth?
I saw Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla hit home runs while Andres Gallaraga hit a pair. Did I mention they were back to back to back home runs in front of a home crowd of 48,000-plus?
Eric Young, my all-time favorite Rockie, had a ninth inning infield single with the bases loaded, scoring Jayhawk Owens for the win.
The reason I remember the date of this event was my grandma later bought a personalized brick.
Back in Coors Field’s first few seasons of existence, the Rockies organization allowed fans to purchase bricks that could be engraved with a message, and then cemented into the ground leading up to the stadium near left field.
In quadrant 11, row three, seven bricks from the left,
“Nicholas A. Hallisey
Game 07 23 1996″
During my last visit to “the greatest place on Earth,” I took a stroll down Wynkoop Walk, the area containing the few thousand bricks.
Some people wrote personal messages, some were to loved ones. Others had famous quotes or were signed from the Rockies No. 1 fans.
“Baseball is life,” “Another Rockies fan born,” “Kiss it goodbye,” and “Thanks for the future memories” are just a few.
It’s a neat part of the stadium that not many people know about.
On the certificate that was given to me with my brick, it states that my brick will be forever etched in stone at Coors Field.
Thanks to that July game 13 years ago, my love for baseball has also been etched in stone.
This article is also featured on Bleacher Report.