"Look at the vibe that it's given off in the city," he said. "You can see it on the TV, you can see it on sports. These guys are terrorizing the league right now with what they're doing, and Rockies paraphernalia is already sold out."ESPN Zone still had Rockies shirts and hats on sale Friday, but Nigrini said they have been flying off the shelves and onto the streets, as Metro State student Mitch Sauer has noticed. "When I walked down 16 Street Mall three or four weeks ago, it would be hard to find people with Rockies hats on or a guy in a Rockies jersey. Now, it's every other person," Sauer said. Sauer and Denver resident Keith Cooper said they saw the city start to embrace the Rockies after Todd Helton's game-winning homer on Sept. 18 against the Dodgers. Helton's homer gave the Rockies momentum during their stretch run and gave hope to a city that hadn't seen playoff baseball since 1995.
The Blake Street Bombers rendition of the Rockies led the Majors in attendance from 1993 through 1999, but as the roster overturned and the newness of the now-15-year-old Rockies faded, so too did interest in the team. Colorado dropped to 26th in attendance in 2005 and was 23rd last season.The Rockies were 19th this season in home attendance, but three of the final four home games were sold out, including Monday's tiebreaker against the Padres. "Most of the season, it's 10,000 to 20,000 people in the stadium going to the games and now it's sold out every game," Cooper said. "It's a lot more fun even, though a lot of people don't even know half the team -- at least they're excited."
And they're talking, even in the ladies' room.
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.