OUTSIDE COORS FIELD, RIGHT-FIELD SIDE — Because the 6 p.m. begin time to the Residence Run Derby approached Monday night time, not one child (or grownup) carrying a baseball glove and hanging on a Huge League prayer was camped out alongside twenty second Road past proper discipline able to shag a Shohei Ohtani-lofted lengthy ball or one mashed by hometown hero Trevor Story.
Coors Discipline is just not that type of a baseball stadium — even with the assistance of Colorado’s skinny air, balls don’t depart the park fairly often.
That was of no consequence to Anderson Jacks, a Vail resident who about an hour earlier was headed inside to see if he may catch a ball within the stands. Jacks, sporting a Ronald Acuña Jr. jersey, roots for the Atlanta Braves however mentioned he would have his eye on Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto in the course of the Residence Run Derby.
“I used to be fairly upset as a result of I used to be speculated to go to Atlanta for the All-Star recreation,” he mentioned, referring to the unique location for the midseason festivities earlier than Major League Baseball moved them to Denver. “However we went forward and acquired tickets out right here.”
Nobody tenting out on twenty second Road past proper discipline for an errant lengthy ball from the Residence Run Derby. Coors Discipline is just not that type of a ball park. #AllStarGame pic.twitter.com/24wALrPLiX
— John Aguilar (@abuvthefold) July 13, 2021
Dan Franco of Arvada additionally had on an Atlanta shirt and cap. However his sartorial alternative had nothing to do with the politically charged decision by MLB in April to uproot the All-Star weekend after Georgia handed a regulation that many noticed as an effort to make voting much less accessible.
“It is a tribute to Hank (Aaron),” Franco mentioned of the legendary house run king and Braves outfielder who died in January on the age of 86. “I’m truly a Reds fan at coronary heart.”
Franco mentioned he was on the solely different Residence Run Derby in Denver 23 years ago.
“It appeared prefer it was a bit extra hectic then,” he mentioned.
That’s how Nancy Babich of Littleton remembers the primary All-Star extravaganza at Coors Discipline, too. Babich, who wore a light T-shirt from the 2016 All-Star Sport she attended in San Diego, mentioned the surprising arrival of the star-studded recreation in Denver this summer season was a welcome shock for locals.
“We felt unhealthy for Atlanta, however we’re completely satisfied for us,” she mentioned, as strains shaped close by on the middle discipline entrance gate in 90-plus diploma warmth Monday afternoon.
Furthermore, Babich mentioned, this yr’s occasion has an additional particular really feel to it given what the pandemic did to live sporting events over the last year. There was no All-Star recreation or Residence Run Derby in 2020.
“It’s like New 12 months’s,” she mentioned. “That is the full-blown ‘we’re again’ celebration.”
Ian Sutherland had explicit cause to have a good time Monday: He turned 40 and handled himself to a $1,000 ticket for an excellent seat on the Residence Run Derby. The Austin, Texas, resident, was carrying all Los Angeles Angels gear — all the way down to his matching purple sneakers — and mentioned for him, it was all Ohtani, all day.
“He’s a phenom,” Sutherland mentioned, remarking on the Japanese participant’s uncommon, outsized skills as a slugger and a pitcher. “We haven’t seen this since Babe Ruth.”
That’s when Sutherland’s buddy caught up with him they usually headed into Coors Discipline. However not earlier than remarking on the extraordinary progress that’s been made because the pandemic shortened the baseball season in 2020.
“We’re not carrying masks, we’re capable of take pleasure in a baseball recreation,” he mentioned. “The place else on this planet would you need to be proper now?”