Few people can claim they’ve risked their lives for the love of
Former Denver Post sports writer Frank Haraway, however, is one
About 15 years ago, Haraway was told by his doctor that he
needed a quadruple coronary bypass. His response was merely that he
would have to consult the Denver Bears’ baseball schedule before he
made an operation appointment.
“I look back and think I was dumb enough to tell him I wanted to
check the baseball schedule before a life-saving operation,”
Haraway, 87, has seen baseball in Colorado evolve and finally
branch into a major league franchise, not only as a veteran
reporter, but also as a fan.
Haraway gained affection for the sport when he became bed-ridden
shortly after starting the first grade because of tuberculosis of
the hips. While tinkering one night with his crystal set – a
precursor to the radio – he found the 1925 World Series broadcast
between the Washington Senators and the Pittsburg Pirates.
Automatically he was smitten. Although he couldn’t show his love
for the game with the swing of a bat, he could with the stroke of a
pencil. Soon Haraway began keeping statistics and scoring
“When I was a growing boy, there wasn’t any question that
baseball was the number one pastime,” Haraway said. “I can’t
remember how I learned (to score). I just did it when I was in bed
listening to the radio.”
Shortly thereafter, Haraway began regularly attending Denver
baseball games at Merchants Park, in his wheelchair. He has been
scoring and attending games ever since. While Merchants Park and
Bears Stadium have long been torn down and replaced by Coors Field,
Haraway’s personal records have remained intact. He has scoring
records dating back to 1932.
His father, an owner of Piggly Wiggly grocery stores in the
Midwest, even bought him season tickets and hired a driver to take
him around town.
“I had four wheelchairs and a personal chauffeur. Well, there
are not many kids in the world probably that had all of that,”
Haraway said. “My parents were so good to me, it was just
After being bed-ridden for about three years, and then spending
five years in a wheelchair, Haraway received crutches and has used
them for the past 73 years.
But using these two “street negotiators,” as he referred to
them, never deterred Haraway.
“The fact that I had these crutches didn’t really bother me
because I became very adept on them,” Haraway said. “I used to go
so fast on those things you couldn’t keep up with me walking down
This theory was actually tested while Haraway attended the
University of Denver. When an injured football player at a rival
fraternity challenged Haraway to a crutch race, he accepted. The
bet: First to win the 100-yard dash won a keg of beer, which was to
be supplied by the losing fraternity.
Haraway was victorious, but the athlete tripped and re-fractured
his healing leg. Afterward, the university’s football coach warned
Haraway to stay away from his other ailing players.
“So, I retired from crutch racing at the age of 18,” Haraway
As Haraway’s graduation date neared, he knew he wanted to spend
his life writing about baseball; the question was, where? Luckily,
he took the place of a retiring reporter at the Denver Post.
“It was the only full time job I ever had in my life,” Haraway
During his 44-year stint as a writer for the Post, Haraway
coveted the position of covering the Bears. He even went 12 years
without missing a single game.
Haraway took this time to use his love of scoring in his daily
“I had to keep my own (statistics), and I kept a day-by-day on
every player, from the time he parted his hair in the morning until
he played ball,” Haraway said.
In 1981, Haraway left the Post, but his love of the game was
still evidently strong. So strong, that once Colorado welcomed the
Rockies in 1993, he was the automatic choice to be their first
official scorer. The press box at Coors Field bears his name as a
reminder of his contributions to Denver baseball.
“I was pretty much considered an institution in the realm of
scoring,” Haraway said. “Now, it’s been 23 years since I retired
and I’m still scoring every game, even though I’m not writing any
Haraway officially scored games for the next five years until
1998. He still continues to score, but it is now, once again, for
his own enjoyment.
“They named the press box after me,” Haraway said. “I said, It’s
my press box; if I want to score, then I’m going to score.”
Haraway is also on the stats crew for the Denver Nuggets and the
Broncos, but baseball will always have a special place in his
“Here’s what I live by,” Haraway said, holding up a Rockies
schedule clipped out of a newspaper. “I’ll either be present or
listening on TV or radio on all those dates.”
As a regular fixture at Rockies games, Haraway has brought
smiles to those who have worked with him.
Rocky Mountain News sports writer Jack Etkin met Haraway when he
began covering the Rockies for the News in 1993.
“He’s really a fan,” Etkin said. “There’s no cynicism at all.
He’s just a kind, sweet, wonderful man who happens to love
Despite the ups and downs in his life, Haraway has always
“He is the most cheerful man I know,” said longtime friend and
former Denver Bears general manager, Jim Burris.
Each photo, cartoon, press pass that covers his wall or fills
his bookshelf tells a story of a specific time in his life. As
Haraway strides into the home stretch of his life, he has no
“I didn’t make any money as a sports writer, but I had really,
an interesting life and I have seen more than 7,000 games and God
knows how many thousands more on television and radio,” Haraway
said. “It’s been my life and I feel that I made the right