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One of the few decent joints in LoDo was run by a skinny saloon keeper named John Hickenlooper, whose Wynkoop Brewing Company was a place you hated to go to if you had a nice car. "I must've had rocks in my head," Hickenlooper remembers.
It wasn't choice real estate. His rent was $1 per square foot per year.
And then it finally happened. We got a major league team in 1993, a very bad team, but a team. And we put on clean shirts and crammed into Mile High Stadium and screamed our fool heads off so that nobody would take it from us. If it had been a candy bar, we'd have licked it from one end to the other.
And when Coors Field arrived in 1995, right at the corner of Blake and 20th Street in LoDo, we cheered even louder. Not because the baseball was good. It wasn't. We had one good year, but mostly we led the league in two things: attendance and sucking. No, we whooped because baseball was saving our town. No city in America was transformed more by baseball than Denver. LoDo blossomed into a garden of restaurants and lofts and shops and4,300 housing units.
And then, this September, after years of taking the bumbling Rockies for granite, when it seemed even our patience had run out, God looked down and said, "Oh, geez, are those people still believers? Send them a gift basket."
And suddenly we had our own Holliday. And our own Kaztrzemski. And guys with Hoover vacuums for gloves who broke the alltime team fielding record. All of a sudden our lovable, stumblebum Rockies developed this terrible allergy to losing. And just when you thought they'd peaked, they'd discover a new peak—and we are a state that knows our peaks. But 21 of the last 22? Who climbs that high?
And now that skinny saloon keeper is Denver's mayor—the most popular in memory—and Mayor Hickenlooper must have Rockies in his head because he goes around grabbing people on the triceps and yelling, "We're in the Series! We're in the Series!"
And now it's October and nobody knows who the Broncos play next because we have this fearless young team that's still playing baseball in Denver, Colo., of all places, and for some reason, in the middle of all the celebrating, I really miss my mom.
And you want to put a roof on Coors Field, Mr. Horn-rims?
How would she watch?