1997 Colorado Rockies season

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1997 Colorado Rockies
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Jerry McMorris
General manager(s) Bob Gebhard
Manager(s) Don Baylor
Local television KWGN-TV
Fox Sports Rocky Mountain
(Dave Campbell, Dave Armstrong)
Local radio KOA (AM)
(Wayne Hagin, Jeff Kingery)
KCUV
(Francisco Gamez, Antonio Guevara)
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The Colorado Rockies' 1997 season was the fifth for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise located in Denver, Colorado, their fifth in the National League (NL), and third at Coors Field. The team competed in the National League West, finishing in third place with a record of 83-79. Right fielder Larry Walker won the NL Most Valuable Player Award (MVP), becoming the first Rockies player and Canadian-born player to do so in MLB.

In a season of contrasting dynamics, the Rockies led the NL in attendance, runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage. However, the club was last in earned run average (ERA), as only Roger Bailey and John Thomson pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and produced an ERA under 5.00. Walker, Vinny Castilla, and Andrés Galarraga each hit at least 40 home runs. Walker led the NL in home runs with 49 and OBP (.452), and the major leagues in on-base plus slugging (1.172), while Galarraga led the NL in runs batted in (140).

Offseason[edit]

  • November 28, 1996: Armando Reynoso was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the New York Mets for Jerry DiPoto.[1]
  • December 9, 1996: Kirt Manwaring was signed as a Free Agent by the Colorado Rockies.[2]
  • January 15, 1997: Juan Uribe was signed as an Amateur Free Agent by the Colorado Rockies.[3]
  • January 24, 1997: Darnell Coles was signed as a Free Agent by the Colorado Rockies.[4]
  • March 26, 1997: Steve Decker was released by the Colorado Rockies.[5]

Regular season[edit]

The Rockies commenced the 1997 season on the road. Larry Walker hit two home runs in the season-opening series against the Reds in Cincinnati,[6] and, on April 5, hit three more versus the Montreal Expos in Montreal[7] for his first career three home run game. His first week accomplishments included a .440 batting average with six home runs in 25 at bats[6] and the Player of the Week Award for the second time in his career on April 6.[8] Walker concluded the month of April batting .456 with 41 hits, 29 runs scored, 11 home runs, 29 runs batted in (RBI), seven stolen bases, .538 on-base percentage (OBP), .911 slugging percentage (SLG), and 1.449 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).[9] His 29 runs scored set a major league record for the month of April, until surpassed by Bryce Harper in 2017.[10] Walker was named NL Player of the Month for the first time.[11] The Rockies concluded the month of April with a 17–7 record for a .708 winning percentage, their most successful month of 1997.[12]

Perhaps the most famous home run first baseman Andrés Galarraga hit was a mammoth grand slam off Kevin Brown on May 31, which landed 20 rows deep into the upper deck at Florida Marlins' Pro Player Stadium. It may also be his most debated home run with a distance initially measured at 573 feet (175 m) and then 529 feet (161 m). At the time, it set a record for both the Rockies and the stadium.[13] In 2011, ESPN's Home Run Tracker recalculated the distance to 468 feet (143 m).[14]

In the June 20 contest versus the San Diego Padres, Walker collected his 108th hit of the season and the 1,000th of his career while batting against Andy Ashby.[15]

Walker continued to hit near or above .400 in July, when he was selected to play in the All-Star Game.[16] His remarkable season continued: as late as July 17,[17] he was hitting .402.[18] The Rockies struggled in the month of July, losing 19 of 27 games for a .296 winning percentage.[12]

Third baseman Vinny Castilla replicated the exact totals in batting average (.304), home runs (40), and RBI (113) as he had produced in 1996, with one fewer game played (159) and point in slugging percentage (.547).[19]

The Rockies led the NL in attendance at more than 3.88 million. They also led the league in runs scored (923), home runs (239), batting (.288), OBP (.357), and SLG (.478). They were last in ERA at 5.25.[20]

The career season for Walker was 1997, when he hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI, 33 stolen bases, and 409 total bases, en route to becoming the first Canadian-born and Colorado Rockies player to win the MVP Award in MLB. Combined with 12 outfield assists, the season remains one of the finest all around performances in recent baseball history. Even more impressively, Walker's breakout season came just one year after various injuries limited him to 83 games and 272 at-bats, although the NL Comeback Player of the Year award went to Darren Daulton.

Season standings[edit]

NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
San Francisco Giants 90 72 0.556 48–33 42–39
Los Angeles Dodgers 88 74 0.543 2 47–34 41–40
Colorado Rockies 83 79 0.512 7 47–34 36–45
San Diego Padres 76 86 0.469 14 39–42 37–44


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1997 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team ATL CHC CIN COL FLA HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL AL
Atlanta 9–2 9–2 5–6 4–8 7–4 6–5 10–2 5–7 10–2 5–6 8–3 7–4 8–3 7–5
Chicago 2–9 7–5 2–9 2–9 3–9 5–6 4–7 6–5 6–5 7–5 6–5 5–6 4–8 9–6
Cincinnati 2–9 5–7 5–6 5–6 5–7 6–5 6–5 2–9 8–3 8–4 5–6 4–7 6–6 9–6
Colorado 6–5 9–2 6–5 7–4 5–6 5–7 7–4 6–5 4–7 4–7 4–8 4–8 7–4 9–7
Florida 8–4 9–2 6–5 4–7 7–4 7–4 7–5 4–8 6–6 7–4 5–6 5–6 5–6 12–3
Houston 4–7 9–3 7–5 6–5 4–7 7–4 8–3 7–4 4–7 6–6 6–5 3–8 9–3 4–11
Los Angeles 5–6 6–5 5–6 7–5 4–7 4–7 7–4 6–5 10–1 9–2 5–7 6–6 5–6 9–7
Montreal 2–10 7–4 5–6 4–7 5–7 3–8 4–7 5–7 6–6 5–6 8–3 6–5 6–5 12–3
New York 7–5 5–6 9–2 5–6 8–4 4–7 5–6 7–5 7–5 7–4 5–6 3–8 9–2 7–8
Philadelphia 2-10 5–6 3–8 7–4 6–6 7–4 1–10 6–6 5–7 5–6 7–4 3–8 6–5 5–10
Pittsburgh 6–5 5–7 4–8 7–4 4–7 6–6 2–9 6–5 4–7 6–5 5–6 8–3 9–3 7–8
San Diego 3–8 5–6 6–5 8–4 6–5 5–6 7–5 3–8 6–5 4–7 6–5 4–8 5–6 8–8
San Francisco 4–7 6–5 7–4 8–4 6–5 8–3 6–6 5–6 8–3 8–3 3–8 8–4 3–8 10–6
St. Louis 3–8 8–4 6–6 4–7 6–5 3-9 6–5 5–6 2–9 5–6 3–9 6–5 8–3 8–7


Transactions[edit]

  • May 23, 1997: Darnell Coles was purchased by the Hanshin Tigers (Japan Central) from the Colorado Rockies.[4]
  • June 3, 1997: Aaron Cook was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2nd round of the 1997 amateur draft. Player signed July 13, 1997.[21]
  • June 3, 1997: Chone Figgins was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 4th round of the 1997 amateur draft. Player signed June 9, 1997.[22]
  • July 27, 1997: Craig Counsell was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Florida Marlins for Mark Hutton.[23]
  • August 19, 1997: Eric Young was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pedro Astacio.[24]
  • August 20, 1997: Bill Swift was released by the Colorado Rockies.[25]

Major League debuts[edit]

  • Batters:
    • Todd Helton (Aug 2)
  • Pitchers:
    • Mike DeJean (May 2)
    • John Thomson (May 11)
    • Bobby Jones (May 18) [26]

Roster[edit]

1997 Colorado Rockies
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Game log[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

Batting[edit]

Legend
 Pos  Position   R  Runs scored  HR  Home runs   SB Stolen bases  AVG  Batting average
  G Games played   H  Hits  RBI  Runs batted in   CS Caught stealing  OBP  On-base percentage
 PA  Plate appearances  2B  Doubles  BB  Bases on balls  HBP  HBP  SLG  Slugging percentage
 AB  At bats  3B  Triples  SO  Strikeouts  GIDP  GIDP  OPS  On-base plus slugging percentage
Pos Player G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS TB AVG OBP SLG OPS
C Manwaring, KirtKirt Manwaring 104 375 337 22 76 6 4 1 27 30 78 1 5 93 .226 .291 .276 .567
1B Galarraga, AndrésAndrés Galarraga 154 674 600 120 191 31 3 41 140 54 141 15 8 351 .318 .389 .585 .974
2B Eric YoungEric Young 118 543 468 78 132 29 6 6 45 57 37 32 12 191 .282 .363 .408 .771
SS Weiss, WaltWalt Weiss # 121 469 393 52 106 23 5 4 38 66 56 5 2 151 .270 .377 .384 .761
3B Castilla, VinnyVinny Castilla 159 668 612 94 186 25 2 40 113 44 108 2 4 335 .304 .356 .547 .904
LF Bichette, DanteDante Bichette 151 602 561 81 173 31 2 26 118 30 90 6 5 286 .308 .343 .510 .853
CF McCracken, QuintonQuinton McCracken # 147 375 325 69 95 11 1 3 36 42 62 28 11 117 .292 .374 .360 .734
RF Walker, LarryLarry Walker * 153 664 568 143 208 46 4 49 130 78 90 33 8 409 .366 .452 .720 1.172
OF Burks, EllisEllis Burks 119 478 424 91 123 19 2 32 82 47 75 7 2 242 .290 .363 .571 .934
MI Pérez, NeifiNeifi Pérez # 83 344 313 46 91 13 10 5 31 21 43 4 3 139 .291 .333 .444 .777
C Reed, JeffJeff Reed * 90 298 256 43 76 10 0 17 47 35 55 2 1 137 .297 .386 .535 .921
IF Bates, JasonJason Bates # 62 139 121 17 29 10 0 3 11 15 27 0 1 48 .240 .338 .397 .735
UT Vander Wal, JohnJohn Vander Wal * 76 102 92 7 16 2 0 1 11 10 33 1 1 21 .174 .255 .228 .455
UT Helton, ToddTodd Helton * 35 101 93 13 26 2 1 5 11 8 11 0 1 45 .280 .337 .484 .821
OF Pulliam, HarveyHarvey Pulliam 59 72 67 15 19 3 0 3 9 5 15 0 1 31 .284 .333 .463 .796
UT Coles, DarnellDarnell Coles 21 23 22 1 7 1 0 1 2 0 6 0 0 11 .318 .348 .500 .848
OF Echevarria, AngelAngel Echevarria 15 22 20 4 5 2 0 0 0 2 5 0 0 7 .250 .318 .350 .668
Team totals 162 6338 5603 923 1611 269 40 239 869 562 1060 137 65 2677 .288 .357 .478 .835
NL rank of 14 teams 2 1 1 8 2 1 6 4 6 11 1 1 1 1 1
Pos Player G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS TB AVG OBP SLG OPS
References:[27][28][29]

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bailey, RogerRoger Bailey 29 191.0 9 10 4.29 84
Thomson, JohnJohn Thomson 27 166.1 7 9 4.71 106
Wright, JameyJamey Wright 26 149.2 8 12 6.25 59
Ritz, KevinKevin Ritz 18 107.1 6 8 5.87 56
Castillo, FrankFrank Castillo 14 86.1 6 3 5.42 59
Swift, BillBill Swift 14 65.1 4 6 6.34 29

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Holmes, DarrenDarren Holmes 42 89.1 9 2 5.34 70
Burke, JohnJohn Burke 17 59.0 2 5 6.56 39
Astacio, PedroPedro Astacio 7 48.2 5 1 4.25 51
McCurry, JeffJeff McCurry 33 40.2 1 4 4.43 19
Ruffin, BruceBruce Ruffin 23 22.0 0 2 5.32 31

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
DiPoto, JerryJerry DiPoto 74 5 3 16 4.70 74
Munoz, MikeMike Munoz 64 3 3 2 4.53 26
Reed, SteveSteve Reed 63 4 6 6 4.04 43
DeJean, MikeMike DeJean 55 5 0 2 3.99 38
Leskanic, CurtisCurtis Leskanic 55 4 0 2 5.55 53

Awards, league leaders, and accomplishments[edit]

National League leaders[edit]

Offensive statistics[edit]

Defensive statistics[edit]

  • Assists at third base: Vinny Castilla (323)
  • Double plays turned:
    • at first base: Andrés Galarraga (176)
    • at third base: Vinny Castilla (41)
    • all outfielders and at right field: Larry Walker (4)
    • at center field: Quinton McCracken (3)
  • Fielding percentage:
  • Putouts for all fielders and at first base: Andrés Galarraga (1,458)
  • Range factor per game:
    • at first base: Andrés Galarraga (10.23)
    • at shortstop: Walt Weiss (4.73)
  • Range factor per nine innings:
    • at first base: Andrés Galarraga (10.69)
    • at shortstop: Walt Weiss (5.22)
    • at pitcher: Roger Bailey (3.06)
  • References:[30]

Awards[edit]

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox Pacific Coast League Paul Zuvella
AA New Haven Ravens Eastern League Bill Hayes
A Salem Avalanche Carolina League Bill McGuire
A Asheville Tourists South Atlantic League Ron Gideon
A-Short Season Portland Rockies Northwest League Jim Eppard
Rookie AZL Rockies Arizona League Tim Blackwell
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Portland[38]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/reynoar02.shtml
  2. ^ Kirt Manwaring Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/uribeju01.shtml
  4. ^ a b Darnell Coles Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  5. ^ Steve Decker Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  6. ^ a b Crothers, Tim; Farber, Michael (April 14, 1997). "Kevin Mitchell and Deion Sanders return in style; Spring flings; Home run barrage by Larry Walker". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ Chass, Murray (June 22, 1997). "Three cheers for the Rockies' Walker (He prefers it that way)". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Major League Baseball Players of the Week". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 2, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Larry Walker 1997 batting splits". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  10. ^ Macklin, Oliver (April 30, 2017). "Harper sets MLB record for runs in April". MLB.com. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Major League Baseball Players of the Month". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "1997 Colorado Rockies schedule". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  13. ^ Eckhouse, Morris A. "The Ballplayers – Andrés Galarraga". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  14. ^ Renck, Troy (June 13, 2015). "Rockies legend Andres Galarraga talks about his famous homer vs. Marlins". Denver Post. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  15. ^ Cohen, Alan (December 21, 2015). "Larry Walker". Society of American Baseball Research. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  16. ^ Gwynn, Tony (August 20, 2002). "Baserunning big part of Walker's greatness". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  17. ^ Knisley, Michael (July 14, 1997). "Preheat to .400". The Sporting News. p. 14. 
  18. ^ "Larry Walker 1997 batting gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Vinny Castilla statistics & history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 29, 2017. 
  20. ^ "1997 Colorado Rockies statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  21. ^ Aaron Cook Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  22. ^ Chone Figgins Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  23. ^ Craig Counsell Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  24. ^ Eric Young Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  25. ^ Bill Swift Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  26. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/yearly/debut.php?y=1997&l=NL
  27. ^ "1997 Colorado Rockies statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 3, 2017. 
  28. ^ a b "1997 National League batting leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b "1997 Major League Baseball batting leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  30. ^ "1997 National League fielding leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 29, 2017. 
  31. ^ "1997 All-Star Game box score, July 8". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 29, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Baseball Digest Player of the Year Award". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved May 5, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Rockies awards". Colorado Rockies. MLB.com. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  34. ^ Smith, Claire (November 14, 1997). "Walker is first Canadian M.V.P". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  35. ^ "MLB National League Gold Glove Award winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  36. ^ "MLB Silver Slugger Award winners − National League". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 3, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Tip O'Neill Award". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  38. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007

References[edit]