Giants-Rockies game postponed by rain

Publish date:

DENVER (AP) Right-hander Bill Swift's arm was all warmed up and ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday.

Never got the chance to deliver it, though.

Rain ruined the return of Swift, Larry Walker, Dante Bichette and the rest of the 1995 team who showed up to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Coors Field's opening. The game between the San Francisco Giants and Rockies was postponed to a date that has yet to be determined.

The Giants return to Denver in late May for a three-game series.

On April 26, 1995, Swift christened the new park with a sinker to New York Mets outfielder Brett Butler, who began the game with a single. This time, Swift was going with a straight fastball, just hoping to deliver a strike.

''It would've been fun to throw out the first pitch,'' said Swift, who's now the baseball coach at Arizona Christian University in Phoenix.

Swift and the rest of the Rockies vividly remember the first time they played in this park. They played their inaugural two seasons at Mile High Stadium, before relocating to their new digs at 20th and Blake.

On that first night in their new park, it was 42 degrees at first pitch and the game went nearly five hours, with Bichette ending things with a three-run homer in the 14th for an 11-9 win.

''You didn't feel (the cold) that day,'' said Walker, who sent the game to extra innings with an RBI double in the ninth. ''It could've been 30-below and I wouldn't have felt the cold or the rain or nothing. It was just too big of a hype.''

Walker took his daughters on a tour of the stadium before the game, explaining every little nuance of the park to them as he strolled down memory lane.

''As we walked by the clubhouse, I was like, `This is where I came out and walked down (to the field),''' Walker explained. ''They were like, `You're not going to tear up, are you dad?' I was like, `No, I'm good.'''

Swift noticed the park still looks in spectacular condition on its 20th anniversary.

''I grew up a Red sox fan, went to Fenway Park. Now that's a baseball field,'' Swift said. ''But that's what this (park) felt like, with the brick and the atmosphere. It was a blast to be able to walk through those gates.''

If only the weather would've cooperated. Sunday's matchup was scrubbed about two hours before the scheduled start.

''Sure, we would have liked to have gotten this one in,'' said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team had to wait a few hours before a charter plane was available to get them out of town. ''Doubleheaders put more pressure on your pitching staff. We are in a stretch now where we don't get much time off.''

Manager Walt Weiss was at least thankful officials postponed it early, rather than possibly warm up his starter and then have the game called.

''In a perfect world, on a day like this, when it doesn't look like it's going to happen, you bang it sooner than later,'' Weiss said.

Weiss had a chance to catch up with his former teammates this weekend. In that first game at Coors Field two decades ago, Weiss batted leadoff and singled to right.

''Some of these guys I haven't seen in many years,'' Weiss said. ''Most of them look about the same. I told them when you're managing you age seven years at a time, so I got no hair left and all that other stuff. Most of them looked pretty good. They looked the same. It was good to catch up. In the short time yesterday during batting practice, there were a lot of stories being thrown around.

''Embellished, of course.''


Giants: RHP Matt Cain is still set to play catch Tuesday, the next step in his rehabilitation of a flexor tendon strain.

Rockies: Weiss said OF Corey Dickerson is sore after fouling a pitch off his left leg Saturday. He wouldn't have been in the starting lineup Sunday. Dickerson also is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.


Giants: RHP Tim Lincecum (1-1) may start Monday when the Giants open a series Monday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. ''Nothing has been determined,'' Bochy said.

Rockies: LHP Tyler Matzek (1-0) will start Monday in Arizona.