“Spilly” has started a movement that hopefully cannot be stopped.
During the fifth inning of Friday night’s Rockies-Diamondbacks game, Ryan “Spilly” Spilborghs was watching the “Legends Race” at Chase Field. He commented that the Rockies should have their own version of the race at Coors Field.
Spilly, the former outfielder who’s now a TV analyst for Rockies games on AT&T SportsNet, suggested a race featuring either the Blake Street Bombers or Rockies legends Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and, perhaps, Charlie Blackmon when he retires.
For the uninitiated, in-game races are cool.
The racers are essentially human-sized bobbleheads that run around the dirt perimeter of the field. They often topple over as they sprint under the weight of their giant noggins. Or they knock each other over. It’s classic slapstick comedy.
The two best are the Racing Presidents at Washington D.C.’s Nationals Park and the Famous Racing Sausages at Milwaukee’s American Family Field.
The Presidents Race features the Mount Rushmore-inspired fearsome foursome of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Famously, Teddy is always the underdog and he failed to win a single race for almost seven seasons, even when given a head start. Teddy finally won for the first time during an afternoon game on Oct. 3, 2012, the first game played after the Nationals reached the postseason for the first time.
The Brewers’ racing weiners are Brat, Chorizo, Hot Dog, Italian Sausage and Polish Sausage. The race is a wonderful nod to Milwaukee’s diverse ethnic roots.
The Rockies used to have the “Tooth Trot,” which was sponsored by a dental care company. The competition included Toothy (a tooth), Fresh (a toothpaste tube) and Bristles (a brush). I’m not making this up.
The race was commercial and contrived and had nothing to do with our city, state or the Rockies. The Tooth Trot’s best moment came in April 2019 when Toothy nearly flattened first baseman Daniel Murphy as he emerged from the Rockies dugout.
As I used to tweet: “I can’t handle the Tooth!”
We may not be able to do anything about the Rockies’ current product on the field, but we should take up Spilly’s call for a new race.
At Chase Field, the caricatures of D-backs legends Mark Grace, Matt Williams, Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez race against each other. The Rockies should do something similar. Sure, they’d be copying the D-Backs, but so what?
Now we just have to decide if we want the Bombers — Dante Bichette, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga and Walker — or if we want the aforementioned Rockies legends.
Longtime fan Dorothy Star wants a race between the Bombers and Rockies legends. A number of fans have suggested the characters from the cartoon “South Park,” but I’m not sure that has enough universal appeal. I’ve also heard suggestions about Colorado animals — big horn sheep, elk, mountain lion, bear, etc. Someone emailed me that the Rockies should have a craft beer race.
I vote for the Bombers. Back in the day, those guys were bigger than life, they all had oversized personalities and they made Coors famous. Or perhaps infamous.
So what do you say Rockies fans, is it time for a new race in LoDo?
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