Behold, the Power of the Purple Pinstripe
With an elevation of 5,186 feet – nearly a mile above sea level – the thin mountain air of Coors Field caters to the “bleacher creature.” As the ballpark with the sixth most home runs in baseball last year, and the deepest deep-ball dinged (486 feet), it’s fair to say National League hitters are thriving in the Rocky Mountains … once the altitude sickness tapers off.
Formed in 1991 as a National League expansion team, The Colorado Rockies have enjoyed some success in establishing their squad. They’ve reached the playoffs in three seasons (1995, 2007, and 2009), and made it all the way to the World Series in 2007 (they lost all four games). Still, as a youngster in the league, squaring off against the Red Sox (one of the most storied franchises in the 146-year history of the league) on baseball’s biggest stage bares no shame for the Rockies.
Among the stoutest of sluggers to don the purple pinstripes, fan-favorite Todd Helton tops the charts with five All-Star Game appearances. Helton played all 17 years of his Major League career with Colorado (1997 to 2013), and amassed 369 home runs, 2,519 hits, and 1,406 RBIs.
In good company with Helton is Larry Walker (258 HRs and 1997 NL MVP); Troy Tulowitski (188 HRs); Andres Galarraga (172 HRs), and Matt Holliday (128 HRs). Colorado’s current cast of star sluggers includes youngster Nolan Arenado and big swinger Carlos Gonzalez, who hit a combined 66 hasta-la-vistas last year.
Coors Field, Colorado Rockies, Denver, Colorado
The Rockies definitely have a hitter’s ballpark, offering a well-balanced home run target from left to right field. Home runs, they are aplenty at Coors Field.
Right-handed hitters have a slight advantage at going-yard here, as the left field fence is three feet closer to the batter’s box than the right field fence. Dead center is a healthy 415 feet from home plate.
If you’re seated out past the left field fence, get your glove ready in sections 151, 152, 153, 154, and 155. Center field and right-center are unavailable to spectators. In center, the Coors Field Fountains pay homage to the wonderful wilderness of greater Denver. Right-center houses the bullpens. For right field, park yourself somewhere within sections 105, 106, 107, and 108 to snag a souvenir ball.
While the stadium already rests at a very high elevation, fans might notice a ribbon of purple seats in the upper decks. This indicates the mile marker. Sherpas available upon request.
If you’re planning on heading out (or up) to Coors Field this season in your lucky Larry Walker jersey, maybe it’s time to check out Fanatics to upgrade your game day gear.