Ellis Burks is a former MLB outfielder who played four seasons with the Rockies (1994-1997) during an 18-year career. In 1996, he had one of the greatest seasons in Rockies history with 40 home runs, 211 hits, 128 RBI and 32 stolen bases.
Q: How do you think the game has evolved from when you played to now?
A: The game has evolved tremendously, just look at (Shohei) Ohtani. Every year the players seem to be getting bigger, tougher and more competitive. For a guy like Ohtani to be at the height of his play being on the defensive side pitching and on the offensive side hitting the way he does, it’s unbelievable.
Q: What’s your impression of this next wave of MLB All-Stars?
A: I think these newer players are definitely getting more competitive. These young kids are coming up to the Majors, and they’re coming up fast. In two or three years after they get drafted they’re in the League already. It goes to show the desires and work they put into reaching the next level. Of course, they’re just good at what they do as well. Anytime you combine those two things, the players are going to have a lot of success.
Q: What’s your favorite memory when you wore a Rockies uniform?
A: My first game as a Rockie was at Mile High Stadium. I hit my first home run and that memory will always be the first thing I look back on. Also, the Rockies success they had early on in 1995 when we went to playoffs and that was an exciting time as well. Just to see the excitement on the fans’ faces when we brought success to the Rockies, that will always be a big deal for me.
Q: What types of changes will the Rockies need to make to become a playoff contender once again?
A: I think they really have to concentrate on player development and getting more guys to believe in their system at the mid-league level. It’s always been hard for pitchers to come to Colorado as a free agent, but for the most part, if they can get back to what we had offensively with the Blake Street Bombers, I think a lot of success will come their way.
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