The final home game of the Rockies’ 2021 season began with a short but classy gesture.
Two-time All-Star shortstop Trevor Storey took the field on Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field. His companions wanted him to spend a lonely moment in the sun. The story, playing his final game in a Rockies uniform at Coors Field, got to enjoy Colorado’s 10–5 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Too bad there weren’t too many fans around to say goodbye.
The final game attracted a declared crowd of 20,613, but by the time the 5-hour, 57-minute, rain-delayed game was completed, there were 2,000 fans left. When Story came to the plate for his final at-bat in the eighth, those heartfelt spirits gave him a standing ovation.
The story couldn’t eclipse the fireworks that were created on Tuesday night, when he ran a 475-foot home run, but he scored a 4–4 with a walk and scored three. Although all four of his hits were infield singles, as manager Bud Black likes to say, “It’s baseball.”
After the first pitch temperature of 70 degrees, Wednesday’s game turned increasingly stormy, with cold rain in the third inning and a two-hour delay. Perhaps it was just a very gentle reminder from the baseball gods what a stormy season this has been for Colorado. By the final pitch, the temperature had dropped to 52 degrees.
Colorado’s crazy season began with the trade of Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals on February 1 and continued with a front-office shakeup that began with the resignation of General Manager Jeff Briditch on April 26.
Although the Rockies have a 39–38 record as of July 1, the season’s 19–34 start saw them lose their third consecutive season and their 20th losing season in their 29 years of existence.
On the sunny side, Wednesday’s win gave the Rockies a 48–33 record at Coors Field, the sixth-best home record in franchise history, despite the team leading 5–12 in their last 16 matches.
“We have shown that we are a lot better than the guys at the beginning of this year,” Story said.
But that didn’t stop Story from discovering what would be a talented free-agent market that includes fellow shortstops Carlos Correa, Corey Seeger, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien. Francisco Lindor has already set a high bar by signing a 10-year, $341 million contract with the New York Mets in April.
The story, like Arenado, seeks to consistently play for the winner, with the chance to compete regularly in the postseason.
“As I’ve always said, winning is at the top of the list,” Story said. “For me, the culture, the fit, the geography, it all goes into it. But winning has always meant the most to me. This is my chance to see where he is.”
Wednesday may also mark the final home game at Coors Field for right-hander John Gray and first baseman CJ Crohn, both of whom are set to become free agents. It is expected that The Rockies will explore the possibility of re-signing both players, but there has been no movement in that direction so far.
“It’s been the heck of a ride and it’s been amazing to win a game for the Rockies, especially at Coors Field,” Gray said Saturday night after losing to San Francisco. “I appreciated every single day. I wanted to get it out of my mind a little bit, but I also wanted to appreciate what I was doing. I really tried to take it and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” I want to remember.”