History of the Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies team, one of the newest teams in major league baseball, has had some success in its short 20 year history. Established in 1993 as a National League West division franchise, the team has already won three National League Wild Card spots (1995, 2007, 2009) and a National League pennant (2007). However, the Rockies have not yet won a National League West division title or a World Series.

In 1991, Denver was selected, along with Miami, as the site for a new MLB franchise team. Two years later, both teams started playing in the National League, the Florida Marlins in the National League East division and the Colorado Rockies in the National League West division.

Although the Rockies struggled in their first season, they finished with 67 wins, more than most franchise teams win in their first years. The following year was a greater struggle, and the Rockies were in last place in the National League West with a 53-64 record when the season was halted by a strike.

The 1995 season was a turning point for the Rockies, with their first post-season play. They finished the regular season with a 77-67 record and the National League Wild Card spot. They lost, however, the National League division series to the Atlanta Braves.

In 1996, injuries to the Rockies' pitching staff hurt the team. Even though they had strong hitting from players like Vinny Castilla and Andres Galarraga, the Rockies finished the season in third place in the National League West with a record of 83-79.

Galarraga left the Rockies in 1998 but they found a worthy replacement in young Todd Helton. But 1998 turned out to be a losing season for the team and they finished at close to the bottom of the National League West division, with a record of 77-85. That poor showing meant the end of Don Baylor's time as the Rockies manager.

The following season, under new manager Jim Leyland, the Rockies and their fans had high hopes for a winning season. However, weak pitching led the Rockies to another losing season, this time finishing in last place in the National League West division with a 72-90 record. Leyland felt discouraged and left the Rockies after the season. The team's general manager, Bob Gebhard, resigned earlier, leaving the Rockies in August, 1999. Dan O'Dowd became the new general manager and Buddy Bell was hired as field manager.

The 2000 season started under new management and with some new players joining Todd Helton. Attendance at games dropped even though the Rockies played well in 2000. Behind the strong bat of Helton, the team had a winning season, their first since 1997, but it was not a good enough record to move them up from fourth place in the National League West division.

The 2001 to 2005 seasons brought hard times to the Rockies. They had losing seasons for those five years and attendance at their games kept diminishing. Changes were made to the roster during those years and the Rockies started the 2006 season with some strong hitters, including Helton, Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins. The team got off to a good start and looked like they had a chance at the division title, but they faltered in the second half and finished the 2006 season with a 76-86 record.

The Rockies started off slowly in 2007, but by August, they started winning and challenged the division leading Dodgers for the division title. They finished the season with a 90-73 record, right behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, who won the division title. For their efforts and successes, the Rockies earned the National League Wild Card spot. They then defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League division series. The Rockies next went on to win the National League pennant race against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After that win, however, they fell in four games to the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series. In 2009, the Rockies won the National League Wild Card but they did not advance further in the playoffs.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Colorado Rockies