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Blackmon stops to smell the roses at opener

Fans get chance to congratulate center fielder on new contract
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon embraces preparation and loves consistency. Pomp and circumstance don't really fit a pregame routine. But Blackmon vowed to try to enjoy basking in the applause and shivering in the cold on Friday.

The Rockies' home opener vs. the Braves -- an 8-3 loss that was delayed after snow flurries and extreme cold hit the Denver area just before midday -- was a time for ceremony, especially considering 2018 marks the Rockies' 25th anniversary season. Part of the pregame festivities involved handing out awards. Third baseman Nolan Arenado received Gold Glove and Platinum Glove Awards, a Defensive Player of the Year Award and the National League Silver Slugger Award for third base. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu took home a Gold Glove Award and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

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DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon embraces preparation and loves consistency. Pomp and circumstance don't really fit a pregame routine. But Blackmon vowed to try to enjoy basking in the applause and shivering in the cold on Friday.

The Rockies' home opener vs. the Braves -- an 8-3 loss that was delayed after snow flurries and extreme cold hit the Denver area just before midday -- was a time for ceremony, especially considering 2018 marks the Rockies' 25th anniversary season. Part of the pregame festivities involved handing out awards. Third baseman Nolan Arenado received Gold Glove and Platinum Glove Awards, a Defensive Player of the Year Award and the National League Silver Slugger Award for third base. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu took home a Gold Glove Award and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

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But for Blackmon, who received the Tony Gwynn Award and a Louisville Silver Bat Award as the 2017 NL batting champion, as well as an NL Silver Slugger Award for outfielders, there was even more reason for fans to show love. The Rockies were on the road when the low-key announcement came of Blackmon's six-year contract, which guarantees $108 million and with incentives could reach $116 million.

Video: Charlie Blackmon addresses Colorado fans

So Friday was a chance for fans not only to celebrate past accomplishments, but thank him for committing to a future in Purple Pinstripes. Blackmon smiled good-naturedly. Hey, he can put aside his meticulous preparation for that.

"It's a big deal in Denver," Blackmon said. "It's like a holiday. I enjoy being a part of it. I'll just try not to take things for granted. Try to sit back and enjoy the moment.

"Mostly, I just want to play a game. But I do need to take a moment and appreciate where I'm at, and how great the city is."

Indeed, the Coors Field faithful settling into their seats during the weather delay gave Blackmon a rousing ovation when he jogged out to center field for his stretching routine.

Video: ATL@COL: Diaz sings anthem at Rockies' home opener

The awards were only part of a pregame ceremony that is familiar, yet special. As has become tradition, there was a military march with service members from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and a Color Guard with music from U.S. Air Force Stellar Brass. Stellar Brass also backed Airman First Class Danielle Diaz in the singing of the national anthem.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon