COLUMNS

Trevor’s story at Coors Field comes to a bittersweet end for the Rockies

Sep 30, 2021, 6:19 AM
Trevor Story...
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Trevor Story didn’t try to ignore his emotions on a rainy, dreary day that will almost certainly be remembered as the last one in which Colorado Rockies fans could see their star shortstop play in purple in black.

“At certain points in the game, it kind of hit me that this could be my last game here at Coors,” the shortstop said on Wednesday afternoon.

Story, 28, is set to become a free agent after the Rockies finish their desultory 2021 season over the weekend with three meaningless games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. But for all intents and purposes, Story’s final curtain call in Colorado came prior to Wednesday’s 10-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Veteran outfielder Charlie Blackmon made sure of it.

Only Story took the field, standing alone when the entire team was scheduled to run out. The message not lost on a loyal audience of 20,613 fans that exploded with appreciation for six seasons of sterling play.

“It caught me by surprise. Chuck got me pretty good. Usually, he’s the one that leads us out. He told me to do it today before we were about to do it, and I should’ve known something was up,” Story said, through red and teary eyes after the game. “I didn’t know until I was halfway to my position, and I could kind of just feel like no one was behind me. Chuck got me good there. It was a cool gesture from my teammates — my whole team — to let me go out like that.”

Story didn’t disappoint in his Coors Field finale, tying his career high with four hits in four at-bats and three runs scored. He was hoping for a bit more in his final at-bat before settling for a walk.

“Going into it, on deck, and seeing the situation of the game, I thought, ‘It’d be cool to put one out here,'” Story said. “I took a chance 3-1, and then after the 3-1, I was back into compete mode. I certainly thought about doing something special right there, but I just had to take what the game had given me.”

Taking what the game has given him is what’s turned Story from a free-swinging rookie who couldn’t hit a low-and-outside slider into one of baseball’s most complete players. Story has developed into a five-tool, multiple-time All-Star that provided Rockies fans with memories that will have to suffice after Story departs for greener pastures — and that’s not talking about just the money.

“Like I’ve always said, ‘Winning is at the top of the list,'” Story explained on Tuesday. “For me, culture, fit, geography – all of it goes into it. But winning has always meant the most to me. This is a chance for me to see where that’s at.”

Story knows it’s no longer in Colorado. After shipping future Hall-of-Famer Nolan Arenado to St. Louis prior to the season — and paying the now postseason-bound Cardinals $51 million for the privilege — the Rockies crumbled. General manager Jeff Bridich resigned/was fired/whatever, and instead of searching for solutions outside the organization, the Rockies merely consolidated power under owner Dick Monfort, who’s lately seemed to be much more enthusiastic about promoting his posh, multi-use McGregor Square real estate project than the local nine.

Story hits free agency as part of a glut of quality shortstops, and while his 2021 numbers haven’t been spectacular, 24 home runs, 74 RBI and an .808 OPS are still impressive for a shortstop that also plays outstanding defense. He didn’t appear worried about the comparatively down year limiting his market on Tuesday.

“My numbers over the past six years kind of speak for themselves,” Story said. “I honestly feel that I haven’t played my best ball; I think that’s ahead of me. I know that consistency is ahead of me. That’s what excites me, and the prospect of winning is what’s always driven me.”

Following Arenado’s still-stunningly incompetent trade, winning doesn’t appear to be what drives the Rockies organization anymore, and Story certainly knows it. He had hoped to be out of Colorado by the trade deadline, where interim general manager (and soon-to-be permanent; ignore the song-and-dance) Bill Schmidt should’ve dealt the two-time All-Star to a contender for… something, at least. Now, the Rockies will receive only a compensatory draft pick next summer. Only one in five first-round selections ever reach the majors, and at best, they take three to four years to arrive. In the end, Schmidt, Monfort and the Rockies allowed Story to be lost for essentially nothing – a sure-fire way to be certain that an organization is spiraling downward.

None of that mattered to Story in his final home game at 20th and Blake, however.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here; this is a special place, a special city,” Story said after the game. “The fans deserve a winning team here; a winning town — and a championship.”

He’s right about that — and while Story will get to pursue one with a more competitive organization, at least he left Rockies fans with a souvenir as nice as the ones he generously handed out to fans long after the game ended.

“Most of all, we won. That’s what it’s all about. I’m happy that — if it was the last one — we won.”

***

Shawn Drotar (@sdrotar) is the on-air host of “Sandy and Shawn;” weeknights from 9p-midnight on 104.3 The Fan.

Columns

Quinn Meinerz...
Andrew Mason

Where does Quinn Meinerz fit on the Broncos’ offensive line?

He replaced an injured Graham Glasgow last year. But now Glasgow is back, and multiple interior-OL positions could be up for grabs.
1 day ago
Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly speaks to the media on Tuesday, May ...
James Merilatt

With Connelly, will Kroenke prioritize money over winning once again?

Time after time, the Nuggets keep losing talented players and coaches for financial reasons, a reality that will eventually catch up with them
1 day ago
Melvin Gordon...
Andrew Mason

Broncos poised for joint-practice camp work with the Dallas Cowboys

Denver is in line to host the Cowboys for at least one joint practice at Broncos headquarters prior to the preseason opener Aug. 13.
2 days ago
Nikola Jokic Luka Doncic...
Will Petersen

Mavericks going to the WCF proves Nuggets title window is wide open

If Luka Doncic can carry the mediocre Dallas roster to the Final Four, there's no reason Nikola Jokic and Denver can't win a championship next year
2 days ago
Russell Wilson Peyton Manning...
James Merilatt

Russell Wilson’s first year as a Bronco isn’t anything like Peyton Manning’s

The Broncos started the 2012 season 2-3, but that doesn't mean fans should expect or excuse early season struggles for this year's team
4 days ago
DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 28: Courtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with Tim Patric...
Shawn Drotar

The Broncos receiving corps is shockingly inexperienced

While it might look good on paper, Denver's cast of wideouts and tight ends doesn't stack up on many fronts to their AFC West rivals
8 days ago
Trevor’s story at Coors Field comes to a bittersweet end for the Rockies