Thursday, August 19, 2010

So Long To Brad Hawpe

Brad Hawpe has been officially released by the Colorado Rockies.

The saddest day for me as a Colorado Rockies fan was the day Dante Bichette was traded to Cincinnati for Stan Belinda and Jeffrey Hammonds in October 1999.

Dante was my guy. My favorite player. That guy whose at-bats I would study endlessly in hopes of extending my playing time in Little League and then high school.

His ABs weren't just ABs for me, they were events. It started with that electric Sledgehammer walk-up, the crowd would eat it up, and it usually ended with a clutch knock or at the very least a lengthy two strike battle that wore out an opposing pitcher.

Loved Dante ABs.

I'm sure Brad Hawpe had a similar impact on a number of young Rockies fans during his 6+ year stint with the big league squad. I sympathize with those fans and all the others feeling sadness over this development.

It's never fun when something like this happens, because we become quite attached to them as ballplayers, and more so them as people. it also means either the player has outgrown the Rockies, regressed, or the team has regressed to the point that it's necessary to reshuffle the deck. In this case it's actually a lot of the latter two. Regression on both sides.

Ultimately I love the Rockies more any one single player, so while this is a difficult pill to swallow, I view this as a positive. Hawpe's time here was complete one way or the other. This allows him to move on, make a fresh start, play the game he loves to play. This also allows the Rockies to move on and learn more about themselves and their future.

It's absolutely the right thing to do for all parties.

I send out my most appreciative thank you to Brad for his contributions to the Rockies dating back to 2004. He really peaked as a solid player in 2007, was a HUGE part of that run to the World Series, and always seemed to be a stand up guy and a willing and unselfish teammate.

A man's man. A winning type of athlete. A winning type of person, who has handled the situation with the utmost class and dignity. The Rockies have also handled their end of a difficult situation with class, and that makes me proud to be a fan of this organization.

All the best to Brad and his family as he begins the net phase of his career. I'm sure we'll be seeing him at Coors Field again sooner than later, one way or another.


David Martin said...

Great article. You are not a Rockies fan if this doesn't make you a little bit sad.

I sympathize with you on that horrible day in 1999. I loved Dante Bichette. Like Hawpe, he was a clubhouse leader who would not accept mediocrity. It was my first time feeling betrayed by my team.

Great read, and best of luck to Brad Hawpe