1993 Opening Day at Shea.

Opening Day 1993

Shea Stadium, Queens, N.Y.

Colorado Rockies vs. NY Mets

David Nied vs. Dwight “Doc” Gooden

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This year the Colorado Rockies are celebrating the 20th Anniversary. I am also celebrating 20 years as a photographer. In this post it will show the growth of a team, photography as a medium and a photographer.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the first Rockies game ever at Shea Stadium in NY, I had attended many Opening days as a kid growing up in NY. This year was different from years past. It was the first year of the Colorado Rockies would play baseball as an expansion team. I attended this game with family members of a Rockies player. Other Years it was with my Aunt and Cousins who had season tickets for the Mets.

I was able to get into the stadium slightly before gates opened when we entered the Mets were taking batting practice and some Rockies players and coaches were by the third base dugout.

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The Mets during batting practice Hip Hop Hooray was playing in the stadium check out Keith Hernandez in the cage!

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Mets Manager Jeff Torborg looking on as batting practice is taking place.

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Someone throwing batting practice for the Mets.

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Rockies manager Don Baylor. He managed the Rockies till 1998 and returned to the team in 2009 as batting coach. He is currently the batting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was also the Mets bench coach in 2003 and 2004.

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Dante Bichette stretching before the Rockies take their batting practice.

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Before the gates opened we had to head out and have our tickets checked which they had to tear part of the ticket off. Now They just scan your ticket or even just the credit card you purchased your tickets with. This is a blurry photo of Ira Joe Fisher interviewing someone before the gates opened. He was a weather man and features reporter for WNBC in NY at the time. It was pretty cool it was one of the first times I had ever seen someone from TV in real life.

A lot of these photos are blurry or over exposed because of the way I was photographing at the time which was not giving me the shutter speeds I needed for the photo. Either the slow film speed or the shutter speed was to long. These days with digital I can change my film speeds (ISO) as needed in 1993 you just did not change film for one photo! All these black and white images were scanned from negatives which is why there is dust and other blemishes on the photos. I kept them as is to show the difference in film and digital. I will get into the photography differences in the last 20 years later in the post.

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Vince Coleman catching a ball.

img020Don Zimmer and Jeff Torborg by the Rockies Dugout. Don Zimmer was the Rockies 1st base coach from 1993-1995. He went on to be bench coach for the Yankees and is now with the Tampa Bay Rays.

img021Dale Murphy amongst the crowd of media covering this game. In the Book Mile High Madness they talk of the huge amount of press at this game. It was cool to reflect back when I read the book and knew I was there.  Dale Murphy was a Rockie for about a month in 1993 before he retired from baseball. This year he was a batting coach for team USA in the World Baseball Classic. I got to meet him and he signed a baseball card for me.

img023A blurry Bobby Bonilla while Dante is throwing. This was caused because I was setting my shutter speed to long and than setting exposure with my F/stop. These days I actually set the camera up by f/stop and than it sets my shutter speed. When I was in School they taught you to photograph normally at a shutter speed that was to slow for the action of sports. This was probably one of the first times I had ever photo graphed a sporting event. unfortunately there are no redos with film and no checking the LCD on the back of the camera. This BNW film I most likely developed a week or more after the game. The color roll I will have photos from was developed at a lab almost a month after the game. These days I have my photos loaded into my computer within an hour or so after the game and minutes after I arrive home.

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Dante catching a ball during warm ups.

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I believe this is Alex Cole and Charlie Hayes. Not 100% sure. If anybody can correct me please leave a comment. It is hard to know who some of these players are 20 years later. Especially since I did not see Rockies games on TV and can’t remember players by face from 20 years ago!

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Dante with the Rockies 1st round draft pick from the expansion draft David Neid. Once again I think this is Neid. He was also the starter for the Rockies for this game.

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Charlie Hayes taking some infield practice. He was the opening day starter at 3B.

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Dante and unidentified player during batting practice by the cage.

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Thinking this is Andres Gallaraga.

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Don Baylor and Jeff Torborg

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Dale Murphy talking to Bob Wolff he is a sports reporter for news 12 Long Island at the time. He was the TV announcer for the Washington Senators from 1947-1960.  Wolff also called Knick and Ranger games in NY. One of his most famous called games was Don Larsens perfect game in game 5 of the 1956 World Series. In game 6 of that same series he made the call for Jackie Robinsons last hit.

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Dale Murphy signing an  autograph.

O.K. so that is the roll of BNW photos I had taken on that day they were all from before the game and during batting Practice the next roll I took was during Opening Day ceremonies. Before I post them I will hit up some of the differences in photography since the Rockies have started playing 20 Years ago.

IMG_5839This is the camera I used on that day 20 Years ago it is a Canon EOS 10s. It has taken many photos and has seen many faces. Unfortunately it stopped working about 9 years ago slightly after I moved to Colorado. I used this camera for about 11 years I paid for it with money from a summer job working for a home improvement company in the summer of 1992. The lens is a 100-300 USM f/4/5.6. A few years ago I did get a new 10s which I have only put 2 rolls of film through in the 6 years I have had it.

Now I am photographing with this.

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It is a Canon D7 with a 70-200mm F/ 2.8 lens. I bought this with the money I made over the last few years as professional photographer. I also am also  celebrating 20 years of working in photography. In February I mark 20 years of me working in the fields of photography. The first job I had was for a Wedding Studio as an assistant. I photographed Wedding and other family events for 10 years before I moved to Colorado. Most of my adult life I have been a photographer except for about three years between 2002 and 2006 when I worked in a bar in NY like most artist do at some point in their careers and at a Sporting Goods store when I moved to Colorado. If the photo quality is not that great of this camera, it is because it was taking with the modern marvel that I have introduced to my photographic arsenal and that is with this….

IMG_5841…yes that is my cell phone. This has a 12mega pixel camera which I will be live tweeting with from Rockies games and my other baseball adventures through the 2013 season. That is when WiFi and Data is available. 12 megapixels is 10.5 mega pixels more than my first digital camera was. In 1993 I was still in High School so taking a photo with a phone was not even a thought in my mind than. I did not even get my first pager till the summer of that same year and my first cell phone for about another 4 years. You can Follow me at @roxaddict on twitter.

So back to the photos of that day.

Before the game when we went out to get our tickets checked I noticed a guy who looked very familiar to the NY sports fan. It was kinda of a interesting person to see walk into the stadium. The person was Jets defensive Tackle Dennis Byrd.

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Here he is waving to the crowd as he was introduced. Many of you may be wondering why this was such a big deal. Well about 18 months before, during a game in November 1992 against the KC Chief he was temporarily paralyzed after a collision with another Jets player while trying to tackle a Chiefs player. He broke his C-5 vertebrae. Seeing him walk into the stadium was a shocker for me considering the last time I had seen him, he was being carried off a football field not knowing what was going to happen to him.

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Here he is talking to the Shea Stadium crowd. The Mets presented him with a NY Mets #90 Jersey. Since his accident no other Jets has worn the #90 and as I was researching for this post found out that it was officially retired by the NY Jets in October of 2012.

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Here he is leaving the Shea Stadium field.

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Here is the Jersey that the Mets had given to him.

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Here he is talking to Glenn Close who sung the Nation Anthem that day.

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Here is a random photo of John Franco in front of the Mets dugout with Anthony Young and Pete Schourek behind him in the dugout. I think the guys in the suits are Nelson Doubleday Jr. and Fred Wilpon owners of the Mets.

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Former Pittsburgh Pirate and HOF Ralph Kiner. He was the TV announcer for the Mets and at 90 years old he still joins the current announcers Keith Hernandez (yes the guy in the batting cage with his arms in the air during Hip Hop Hooray) and Ron Darling both former Mets players in the booth. Lots of memories as a kid of him and Tim McCarver calling Mets games and his show Kiners Korner.

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Don Baylor

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Don Baylor with Don Zimmer.

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Dante Bichette

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Another of Dante

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Alan Ashby signing autographs on the Rockies Dugout. These last few photos were actually taken before I went to my seat and pre game ceremonies, but I scanned these in from prints so they are not in the best order.  The BNW’s were actually from the negatives and is why they were dusty and had other blemishes on them from the processing.

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This is one I did not use this is what happened when two pieces of film would touch during the processing of film! Now that doesn’t happen too much but I may get a piece of dust between the lens and digital sensor that I like to call camera goblins!

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Dante Bichette during player introductions along with Alex Coles, Eric Young and Don Baylor. As many of you know Eric Young Jr. is now with the Rockies and Dante Bichette Jr. is in the Yankees organization. EYJ shows that speed runs in the family and Dante Bichette Jr. has power at the plate just like dad. DBJ will be starting the season with the Yankees Low A affiliate Charleston River Dogs. As mentioned before Don Baylor is hitting coach for the Diamondbacks. As for Alex Cole well I won’t get into that here but google it!

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Here is a photo of the starting line ups during the National Anthem. I did not photograph photo I did purchase it at a memorabilia store and is the property of MLB and TV Sports Mailbag from Elmsford, NY.

This photo I am currently trying to get signed by the 12 players who played in this game so far I have gotten Dante Bichette and Daryl Boston to sign it. Hopefully I will get as many as possible during the opening weekend festivities at Coors, The Rockies will be having the 1993 players there during the weekend.

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David Nied throwing what may be the first Rockies pitch in history. He was the starting pitcher for the Rockies not sure if this is the first pitch or a pitch early in the game. This was the only photo I took during the game.

The Mets won the game 3-0 they also won the second game to 6-1. That year they were 67-95 actually 4 games better than the 2012 team.

Here is a ticket stub from 1993.

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It has been in a card holder ever since I got home from the game.

and this is my 2013 opening day ticket.

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Featuring Eric Young. Who hit a lead off HR in 1993’s home opener at Mile High. Dante Bichette did hit the Rockies 1st HR and got there first RBI off the Mets Bret Saberhagen on April 7th at Shea Stadium.

The Rockies have had some incredible moments in the last 20 years from drawing the largest single season attendance record in MLB history, The building of there home for the last 18 years Coors Field, The Blake Street Bomber Years, the 2007 playoff run and only World Series appearance, playing the coldest playoff game in MLB history in 2009 and their first No Hitter in 2010 by Ubaldo Jimenez. It has been a great ride they don’t always win but for the most part they have always made being a Rockies fan interesting. It has been interesting following this team for the last 20 years.

I am glad I get to go to one of the best stadiums in baseball on a very regular basis. It is interesting that I had the opportunity to move here to Denver since this day at Shea, because the Rockies were my second favorite team behind the Mets after seeing them that day. Now since I have moved the 1800+ miles from Long Island to Thornton I have become a huge Rockies fan still have a place for the Mets in my heart but, have made the Rockies my team and the Denver area my home. I am hoping the team will improve this season after the worst season in their history last year. As for The last time I saw Shea it was on the way to the airport when I went back to NY to visit in 2004, since it has been torn down and the Mets have a new stadium Citifield. I have gone to Citifield for a series the Rockies played there in 2010. I am hoping to return this summer when it host the 2013 All-Star game.

As I am writing this the 2013 season has kicked off with the Rockies in Milwaukee. We have the 6th manager in the Rockies history Walt Weiss. Dante has returned to the Rockies as batting coach and a little known rookies in 1993 is a special assistant to the general manager Vinny Castilla. The 1995 draft pick and most likely first HOF in a Rockies cap Todd Helton is entering possibly his last season as a player. 2013 should be as interesting as the last 20 Years.

That’s it for this walk down memory lane. Hope it was as interesting for you as it was for me living it!

See you at Coors once again I will be there a lot this season! Hoping for the best!

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The Rockies are Currently 2-1 on the season and have hit 8 home runs in there first 3 games of the 2013 season! It must be that new batting coach. Tulo has hit 2 and so did Cargo and Dex. Wilin Rosario and Cuddy have 1 each.

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