Fans can’t wait to watch GJ Rockies
It didn’t take long for the public to make season ticket requests.
Only a few hours after the city of Grand Junction announced the approval of a lease agreement with the Grand Junction Rockies, Executive Director Tim Ray had more than 100 requests.
“I’m extremely excited for us to get something this big,” Grand Junction resident Dana Brost said. “I’m excited just for the baseball itself. Some of the Colorado Mesa players could play for (the Grand Junction Rockies).”
The Grand Junction Rockies are the rookie league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. They were in Casper, Wyo., for the past 10 years.
Brost was raised in Grand Junction and annually attends Alpine Bank Junior College World Series and goes to Colorado Rockies games “every opportunity I get.”
“My wife and I are both excited,” Grand Junction resident David Boyd said. “She likes watching the local teams. She grew up in Farmington (N.M.) and watched the Connie Mack World Series.
“These guys (in rookie league) play for fun, not just money. They play to play the game. They don’t have multiple-million dollar salaries.”
Adam Korte, who put in a request for tickets, believes having the Rockies rookie league team will be good for the city of Grand Junction and Colorado Mesa University.
“Not only am I a fan, but for Grand Junction to see at least 2,500 people around Suplizio Field three days a week is exciting” said Korte, who put in a request for season tickets.
“It’s exciting for Mesa,” Korte said. “Knowing the (Rookie League) team is in town might get more baseball players to come to school here.”
“This will give families and kids something to do,” Korte said. “For our hotel business, we’ll have girlfriends and family members travel to Grand Junction and see (Grand Junction) for the first time.”
Ray believes the move from Casper, Wyo., to Grand Junction is a good one for the club.
“It’s great for the organization,” Ray said. “The move makes sense for the Rockies organization and Grand Junction has such a strong baseball tradition with the JUCO World Series, Colorado Mesa and the high schools.”
Some players that have played on the Rockies Rookie League team in recent years include Jhoulys Chacin, Seth Smith, Ian Stewart, Matt Daley, Dexter Fowler and Ubaldo Jimenez.
“I think the fans will be surprised with the level of play,” Ray said. “In my opinion, they will see the best 18- to 22-year-olds in the world. The past year, we had players represented from five different countries.
“You will see the future stars of tomorrow, future major leaguers.”
The Grand Junction Rockies and the rest of seven teams in the Pioneer League play with wood bats.
“It’s a little different game, but there’s nothing better than the crack of a wood bat,” Ray said.
It is feasible local high school, Colorado Mesa and junior college world series players will continue their careers with the Grand Junction Rockies if the parent club drafts them and assigns them to the team.
Ray visited Grand Junction last fall and saw Suplizio Field.
“I took a walk around and liked the aura of it with the history,” Ray said. “The surface is solid and with the money being put into the stadium will only make it better.
“Suplizio Field ranks right up there with the other Pioneer League facilities. Billings and Missoula each have new ballparks. Ogden and Orem have nice parks. (Suplizio) is the largest field in the league in seating capacity.”
Ray said the organization is all about family atmosphere and promoting the sport.
“Fans are our No. 1 priority,” Ray said. “We want to cater to the fans and involve kids.”
Ray said they will plan promotional events, but haven’t announced a schedule yet.
Season tickets for premier box seats are $299 for the 38 home games. Those prices are consistent with the other seven teams in the Pioneer League, Ray said.
Single-game tickets won’t be available for a while, but they generally run around $6 per person.
The season starts in June and continues through early September.