DENVER -- Brewers fan Carey Rottman had a smile on his face Monday night, having learned over the past three weeks to appreciate the good moments in life.
Mequon, Wis., native Rottman, 27, who was among those injured in last month's theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., had one of those good moments on Monday. He limped to the mound at Coors Field, still recovering from a pair of surgeries to repair a bullet wound through his right thigh, and delivered a ceremonial first pitch before the Brewers-Rockies series opener.
"I was one of the lucky ones that got out fairly unscathed, other than a gunshot wound to my leg," he said. "But it's brought our family together, friends together. That actual terrible thing that happened, that's not great, but everything from my family that's come from it has been good things."
He was a guest of the Rockies on Monday and wore their jersey to the mound, but planned to return to Coors Field on Tuesday in Brewers gear to tour the clubhouse and meet players from his hometown team.
Rottman was shot in the back of his right thigh, and had a four-inch exit wound that required surgery. He is already ahead of schedule in a program of rehabilitation that could take a full year.
He was a running back at Homestead High School in suburban Milwaukee before continuing his football career at Winona State University in Minnesota, where he met his wife, Jessica. They were married in June, and she was with him on the field Monday night.
"It is, for a lot of people, a life-changing experience," Rottman said. "When you get out of there alive, you want to be as positive as you can be and have fun with your life."