Over the course of the season, various Rockies players visited patients and families at hospitals in the Denver metro area. On June 21, Nolan Arenado and Tyler Chatwood went to the Children's Hospital Colorado oncology unit to provide a special morning for the kids, on July 18, Trevor Story, Mike Dunn and Tony Wolters visited as well. As part of the Toys of Summer event, Lacey and Greg Holland visited Children's Hospital Colorado on Aug. 29, delivering toys to a group of young fans. Gerardo Parra, Tony Wolters and Carlos Gonzalez spent the morning of Sept. 5 at a UCHealth hospital, meeting with fans. They even had a special surprise for Luke Kalb, University of Dubuque baseball coach currently undergoing cancer treatments.
Although Jason Motte is currently playing with the Atlanta Braves, he is still making a difference in the Denver community. While the Braves were in town in August, Jason and Caitlin Motte, along with the Motte Foundation, donated $50,000 to fund the Children's Hospital Colorado's 2018 Spring Training trip.
On July 31, the Rockies and National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) hosted their annual clinic at Keli McGregor Field at All-Star Park. It was a special morning as athletes with disabilities were able to enjoy the game of baseball, time in the sun, refreshments and a visit from Dinger!
Walter Reed Visit
During the end of July road trip, the Rockies made a special stop at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. An annual visit when the team is in Washington, D.C., it's always a meaningful day and special visit for players, coaches and staff as they take some time to connect with men and women in the military, many of whom are recovering from serious injuries. Representing the Rockies organization this year were Tyler Anderson, Mike Dunn, Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, Pat Valaika and Tony Wolters.
Fantasy Camp For Kids
Fantasy Camp for Kids Baseball Clinic was held on July 7, with Rockies coaches and players playing baseball with about 50 kids from Special Olympics Colorado at Jason Jennings Adaptive Field in Lakewood, Colo. Always an event that reminds everyone of their pure love of the game, the Rockies who brought smiles that day included Manager Bud Black, Third Base Coach Stu Cole, and players Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Raimel Tapia and Pat Valaika.
Play Ball Weekend
MLB and USA Baseball launched Play Ball in 2015 as a league-wide initiative to encourage youth participation in both formal and informal baseball and softball activities. The designated Play Ball Weekend at Coors Field took place June 16-18, when the Rockies took on the San Francisco Giants.
On June 16, Rockies players, coaches and staff hosted a baseball clinic at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver Owen Branch. Players and coaches in attendance included Manager Bud Black, Vinny Castilla, Ian Desmond, Jeff Hoffman, German Márquez, Tom Murphy and Pat Valaika. Prior to that night's game there was a youth baseball parade around the Coors Field warning track, and members from the Owen Branch of the Boys & Girls Club lined up with the entire Rockies team for a ceremonial cap exchange with the players. One lucky Boys & Girls Club kid also got the honor of taking the mic and announcing "Let's Play Ball!" to start the game.
The following day featured the finals of the Pitch, Hit and Run baseball skills contest at Coors Field, and young fans entering the gate that Saturday night received an official Play Ball plastic ball & bat set, courtesy of MLB.
On the final day of Play Ball Weekend, another youth baseball parade made its way around the Coors Field warning track. In honor of Father's Day, a lucky father-son duo participated in two baseball traditions: first, they walked out the official Rockies lineup card with Manager Bud Black and, second, they announced "Let's Play Ball!" to start the game. It was a great Play Ball Weekend in Colorado!
Colorado Rockies Charity Golf Classic
The annual Colorado Rockies Charity Golf Classic took place on Monday, June 19 at The Pinery Country Club in Parker, Colo. The golf event has become a staple of the fundraising efforts for the Colorado Rockies Charities and an event that players, coaches and, of course, participants look forward to every year.
There was a great turnout of Rockies players and coaches this year, choosing to spend a rare off-day supporting the Rockies' charitable efforts. Participants had the opportunity to golf with Tyler Chatwood, Kyle Freeland, Jeff Hoffman and Pat Valaika from the current roster, or any number of Rockies alumni players, including Garrett Atkins, Vinny Castilla and Cory Sullivan to name a few. The day was a huge success and it was all for a good cause!
On Saturday, May 13, pitchers Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, German Márquez and Scott Oberg, First Base Coach Tony Diaz, shortstop Trevor Story and Bullpen Catcher/Major League Operations Assistant Aaron Muñoz visited Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., to provide a special opportunity for military families.
Upon arrival at the base, the Rockies players and staff put on a clinic for kids, going over pitching, hitting, fielding and conditioning drills. The clinic concluded with two Whiffle Ball games, where the kids got to play with Rockies players and coaches, putting their new skills into action.
The day concluded with photos and autographs, before the Rockies took off to get ready for that night's game. This visit to Buckley is an annual event for the organization, in fact, this was Oberg's third consecutive year and Muñoz's second consecutive year participating. Certainly any time the Rockies can make a visit to Buckley AFB to thank the servicemen and women and spend time with their children, it's a day well spent.