|Major league baseball debuted in Colorado in 1993, and the game hasn't been the same since. In their short existence, the Rockies have set records for offense, taking advantage of the thin Denver air.
Don Baylor managed the Rockies for each of their first six seasons, winning as many as 83 games in 1996 and 1997. Whereas their sister expansion team the Florida Marlins focused heavily on youth, the Rockies loaded their everyday lineup with some established major leaguers. Joe Girardi, Andres Galarraga, Charlie Hayes, Dante Bichette, and Jerald Clark played for the original 1993 team. The pitching staff was made up of youngsters and the team limped to 95 losses.
By 1995 Baylor had an offensive arsenal that could outscore his opponents. Paced by Galarraga, Vinny Castilla, Bichette, and Larry Walker (all four with at least 30 home runs), the club gained a wild card spot in the NL. The lack of pitching proved fatal in the four game loss to Atlanta in the Divisional playoffs. The Rockies were unable to duplicate their playoff appearance in the next four seasons, instead settling for some of the best offensive seasons by a group of their hitters. Ellis Burks and Todd Helton joined Galarraga, Walker, Bichette, and Castilla in posting mile-high batting averages, astronomical slugging marks, and power numbers.
After the 1998 season Baylor was released and replaced with Jim Leyland who had guided the Marlins to the 1997 World Series. Leyland will try to work his magic with yet another young team. Prior to the 2001 season the Rockies signed several pitchers in an effort to address their glaring weakness on the mound. Opinions differed as to whether a winning pitching staff could be assembled in the launch pad of Coors Field. The Rockies opened their pocket book as well, signing star Helton to a multi-year, mega-million dollar deal in the Spring of 2001. In '01 Helton failed to repeat his monstrous 2000 season but Larry Walker was able to win another batting title. After a terrible start to the 2002 season, Buddy Bell was fired and speculation arose as to who would be his ling-term replacement.
In 2004 the Colorado Rockies finished 4th in the National League West Division with a 68-94 record.
In 2006 the Colorado Rockies finished 5th in the National League West Division
with a 76-86 record.