Coors Field ready for Rockies-Phillies opener
By Tom McGhee
The Denver Post
Posted: 04/10/2009 08:07:46 AM MDT
Patrick Vigil, left, Mike Archuleta and Christopher L. Chavez of Denver have been to all Rockies home openers since 1993. The stood outside Coors Field on April 10, 2009. (THE DENVER POST | JOHN PRIETO)
Brent Skaleske looks over his turkey legs and hot sausage outside Coors Field on April 10, 2009, the day of the home opener. (THE DENVER POST | JOHN PRIETO)Related
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Somewhere on the concourse, hot dogs and onions grill, the smell floating through the air.
In the Rockies' locker room, the equipment is unpacked. Bats, gloves, shoes and hats lined neatly in lockers.
Today is Home Opener. The 2009 christening of Coors Field when the Rockies will play host to the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m., but the preparations have been going on for a while.
It is time to play ball, said Mark Razum, Coors head grounds keeper.
No matter how many times you prepare a big league ball park for opening day the process
Browse a gallery of fans determined to buy Rock Pile tickets for the home opener.
Watch as Rockies fans line up for tickets to Opening Day.
Listen to audio slide show of Rockies grounds crew preparing for home opener.
Much of the work needed for game day has been done over the past few days. The opening day logos - "Opening Day 2009" - for example were painted a few days ago.
For Razum's crew, the remaining preparation is more or less the same as for any other game, he said. "We will mow again the infield and outfield, edge the grass, go to the pitcher's mound to make sure the dimensions are right .... rake, drag and water the infield."
Mowers take the outfield grass down to seven-eighths of an inch, and the infield is trimmed to one-and-three-eighths, Razum said. The longer infield grass helps to slow the ball.
William London was cleaning the Rockies' dugout on Thursday, leveling a powerful stream of water onto the roof. "I've got the best office in here," he said.
Richard Cordova and Madora Stauffer were carefully spreading paint onto the right field wall near the pole that marks an out of bounds ball.
Most of their work was touch-up, said Cordova, who had just finished painting over the foul line that runs down the wall.
"We started getting
Rockies fans waited outside Coors Field to buy Rock Pile tickets on the day of the first home opener, April 10, 2009. (THE DENVER POST | JOHN PRIETO)ready for opening day after the last pitch of the last game last season," said Cordova. "We can't wait for the first pitch. It is pretty exciting, you get huge crowds, there is excitement in the air."
Mike Pontarelli, assistant clubhouse manager, was prowling the clubhouse as his crew unpacked bats, gloves and other new equipment from Louisville Slugger, Nike and other vendors. "We just unpacked everything we shipped back from Tucson. Now we are fine tuning and getting everything in shape, making sure each guy has everything he needs."
The guys receive new stuff and equipment at the beginning of the season."
Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa was nearby preparing to work out. The left hander, who came to the team from the Kansas City Royals
About 300 Colorado Rocky fans were out early Friday morning line up to buy Rock Pile tickets. Sleeping is Markeius Cropp, 16, of Denver, who was there since 3:30 a.m. on April 10, 2009. (THE DENVER POST | JOHN PRIETO)in 2008, was nervous when he arrived last year, he said. This year, he is just "very excited. I am going to work hard to get a good season and help the team."
Tom McGhee: (303)954-1671 or email@example.com
And on a side note the LA Lakers were handed that game last night IMHO the calls were ridiculous! The Nuggs seemed to kind of just give up toward the last 2-4 Minutes. And I don't blame them, if it were me I would have just dribbled the ball and threw it outta bounds every time. What's the point, when the calls were so blantant and one sided. That's okay I think the Nuggets will end up with home court advantage. As the NBA Season comes to and end, we have the MLB Season getting ready to go! I can't wait, I love going to the games at Coors Field in the Summer. GO ROCKIES! GO NUGGETS!