On Tuesday afternoon at Coors Field in Denver the thermometer dipped to a brisk 23 degrees during the first game of a doubleheader between the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves. It was the lowest temperature recorded at a game since Major League Baseball began recording that information back in 1991. The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders, who was at Tuesday’s games, joined Bill Littlefield.
BL: Patrick, please describe that chilly scene for us.
PS: When I arrived at the ballpark in the morning around 9:30, 10 o’clock, 16 degrees, snow everywhere. The grounds crews had snowplows out. They had people from the front office, including the owner, Dick Monfort, out for the second time in two weeks with snow shovels trying to remove some of the snow from the field. Icicles hanging from the seats — it was crazy. But they started on time, and it was, as you said, 23 degrees when first pitch happened at 1:10 here in Denver.
BL: Alright the official attendance at Tuesday’s late game, the second game of the double-header, is listed at over 21,000. But I saw the highlights, and it looked to me like there were about 38 people in the stands at Coors Field. Did everybody just leave when it went down to 23 degrees?
PS: I counted 43, but I would guess there was around 1,000, maybe 1,500 at the beginning of that game. It was kind of eerie. Here it is, early in the season, Rockies are playing well, but there’s nobody in the ballpark. It’s kind of sad.
BL: As it turns out, the weather didn’t help the Rockies, who should be, I guess, more acclimated to freezing temperatures than the visiting teams, the Braves in this case. Colorado lost both games of the double-header. That just seems wrong.
PS: Yeah, well, tell me about it. The players were really upset, not just because of the cold, but because they had been playing so well, and then the Braves, who always seem to beat the Rockies, came in and swept ‘em. It was Jon Garland, the pitcher in the second game, said, “By about the third inning, I couldn’t even feel my toes.” He was more upset at the fact that he gave up three home runs to the Braves in one game. But yeah, how weird is that. They are the Atlanta Braves from the warm climate, come in and basically bludgeon the Rockies.
BL: Colorado is at Arizona this weekend. Temperatures expected to be in the high 90s. Have any of the Rockies expressed delight or dismay or anything over the forecast?
PS: Oh, delight, no question about it. But the funny thing is, you know, as soon as they leave and go on this extended road trip through Arizona and LA, the weather here in Colorado, as it’s apt to do, suddenly turns around. It’s gonna be 70s throughout this weekend, close to 80 by the first of the week. So it’s been a very odd April.