Baseball Breakouts

 Uncategorized
Oct 262004
 
Authors: Sara Crocker

Numbers

Frank: 10,000 Self-estimated number of sporting events witnessed

by Haraway

1,200 Number of consecutive Bears games witnessed by Haraway

87 Haraway’s age

73 Years Haraway has been on crutches

44 Number of years Haraway worked for the Denver Post

15 Games missed in the last 12 years by Haraway

2 Number of press boxes named in honor of Haraway (Coors Field

and

Invesco Stadium at Mile High)

1 Number of full time jobs Haraway has had (reporter at the

Denver Post)

Breakouts

You’ve heard the phrase, “as American as apple pie and

baseball,” but what really defines baseball as our sport?

Journalists called it our national pastime in the late 19th

century, but is that title still relevant when there are so many

other sports vying to hold our attention? Love it or hate it,

baseball has a long history in America and in Colorado. Those who

know baseball best weigh in on altitude and the Rockies’ quest for

a pennant. Ultimately, the fans will decide how to pass the

time.

Asking those in the know:

Will the Rockies ever have a chance to win a pennant?

“One of these years they’re gonna get the right people, the

right pitching and they’re gonna be good for a number of years.

Hopefully not in 100 years like the Cubs. I think that’s just a

curse or something.”

Norman Angelini, left-handed starter/relief for the Denver

Bears, 1978-1981

“Sure you can win. You’re rolling the dice no matter what city

you’re in.”

Jay Sanford, Colorado baseball historian

“I’m of the mind of never say never, so I’ll say they will get a

pennant at some point. You’re going to have to have a lot of

offense, but you’re also going to have to have good enough

pitching.”

Jack Etkin, sports reporter for the Rocky Mountain News

Blame the Altitude?

Q&A with Jim Burris, GM of Denver Bears

Jim Burris managed Denver’s AAA baseball team, the Denver Bears,

for 20 years. From 1965 to 1985, the Bears found success on the

field, including multiple championships. Burris talks about the

problems of finding good pitchers in the Mile High City, and if

it’s really the altitude’s fault, or that the pitcher just can’t

take the heat.

Q: As general manager for Denver’s AAA baseball league, did you

ever have any problem organizing a cohesive pitching staff?

A: No, and that’s the thing that still perplexes me. And,

granted, we were playing in AAA baseball and this is major league

and it’s a shade better than our class – at least theoretically –

some times I’m not so sure. But, we never experienced anything like

is going on at Coors Field. When we had the Bears, who played at

Mile High Stadium, we did not have anything like this type of

problem. Getting good pitchers seems to be a serious problem these

days.

Q: So, how does altitude impact the game?

A: We all know that in this altitude a golf ball, a football, a

baseball all go farther her than they will in Louisville, Ky. or

Dallas, Texas.

Q: Is the rest of the problem with pitching in Denver

psychological?

A: “I think a lot of what they’re going through is

psychological. I know when the first time a rookie gets here he’s

told about the horrors of trying to pitch in this altitude. If

you’re afraid when you go out there, your mind is full of all the

bad things that can happen.”

Q: Has any pitcher been able to beat the fear of altitude?

A: “Our greatest pitcher of my time was 48 years old and it was

into July before his earned run average even reached two, and that

was pitching at Mile High Stadium. His name was Art Fowler and he

just flat out said those pitchers think they’re going to get beat.

He was supremely confident that he could throw strikes and get

hitters out. Art scoffed at anybody who was afraid to pitch

here.

Q: So, is there any solution?

A: “Good pitching will always get out good hitting.”

Quiz

So, you think you know Rockies baseball trivia? Only one way to

find out. Test your skills and see if you measure up.

1. What year did the Rockies become Colorado’s major league

expansion team?

a. 1959

b. 1999

c. 1993

d. 1984

2. In the Rockies first home game, how did lead-off hitter Eric

Young’s first at bat turn out?

a. He was hit by a pitch

b. He hit a home run

c. He struck out

d. He got a double

3. When did the Rockies host the All-Star Game?

a. 1998

b. Trick question – they’ve never hosted it

c. 1988

d. 2000

4. What color are the chairs marking one mile above sea level at

Coors Field?

a. Green

b. Blue

c. Silver

d. Purple

5. Who did the Rockies play when they made the playoffs in

1995?

a. The L.A. Dodgers

b. The Atlanta Braves

c. The San Francisco Giants

d. The Arizona Diamondbacks

6. Name the Rockies mascot

7. How many stadiums have the Rockies called home?

a. one – Coors Field

b. two – Coors Field and Mile High Stadium

c. three – Coors Field, Mile High and Merchants Park

d. four — Coors Field, Mile High, Merchants Park and Invesco

Stadium

8. How many fans packed into Mile High for the attendance

record-setting first home game?

a. 70,372

b. 56,558

c. 83,334

d. 80,227

9. In terms of percent, how much farther does a baseball travel

one-mile high at Coors Field compared to other parks at sea

level?

a. 5 percent

b. 15 percent

c. 9 percent

d. There is no difference

10. Name three players who hit left handed for the Rockies

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