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High & Inside: Rockies Community Newsletter

February 2014

This Months Features:

Click on the title to jump to each story.

#ABQRoadTrip - Community Outreach in the "Land of Enchantment"

Dinger Roadtrip

On Jan. 15, Dinger and the Rockies headed south to New Mexico to visit Rockies fans in the "Land of Enchantment."

After leaving Coors Field early in the morning, the mini-caravan made its first pit stop just south of Colorado Springs at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. There, the Rockies had some fun cruising around the racetrack and taking photos to share on Rockies social media. And once the checkered flag was flown, it was back on the road.

After quick stops at the Colorado-New Mexico State Line, beautiful Raton Pass and the city of Las Vegas, N.M., the caravan arrived in Santa Fe. They took in some of the city's iconic sights such as the Loretto Chapel's "Miraculous Staircase," Santa Fe Plaza, countless classic adobe structures, enjoyed a quick bite of New Mexico cuisine, then it was back on the road to complete the 447 mile journey.

When the Rockies arrived in Albuquerque, their first visit was Isotopes Park, home of the Albuquerque Isotopes. While the Isotopes are affiliated with the Rockies' NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers, Dinger didn't mind-he was more interested in making friends with the 'Topes mascot Orbit. After photo opportunities at the ballpark, Dinger went across the street to The Pit, home of University of New Mexico men's and women's basketball, where he was stonewalled by locked metal gates. He desperately wanted to explore the unique below-ground design that makes The Pit one of the loudest arenas in college basketball. Luckily with the help of his road trip companions, they found an open entrance and university staff showed them to the floor a few hours before that night's game against UNLV.

That evening's big event for the Rockies was to meet up with catcher/infielder and local legend Jordan Pacheco and TV partners ROOT SPORTS for a special autograph session in Rio Rancho. Rockies fans from all over New Mexico came to the restaurant to meet Jordan and watch the Lobos play on TV. One family even drove more than 100 miles to attend. Even though the Lobos lost to UNLV that night, it was an outstanding turnout and every Rockies fan went home happy.

The next morning, Jan. 16, was a big day with two Rockies "Make An Impact" school visits scheduled at North Star Elementary School in Rio Rancho-the first time the program has ever made its way to the state of New Mexico. These visits had the special added bonus of Pacheco participating in the program live, which was the first time a Rockies player has ever been able to be a live participant in an assembly and the program was customized to accommodate this. Rockies Assistant Director of Community Relations Dallas Davis and Dinger began the program that has been seen by more than 105,000 elementary school students since its inception. Throughout Pacheco's 30-minute portion of each of the two programs, he imparted important lessons to the students about hard work, goal-setting, dreaming big, staying focused and more. And coming from a Major League player from their own hometown, Pacheco's words carried extra significance for the North Star students. After two outstanding assemblies, Pacheco and the Rockies were ready to head to the next stop, UNM Children's Hospital.

For the visit to UNM Children's Hospital, Pacheco invited two of his good friends, Albuquerque natives and fellow professional baseball players, Scott Gracey of the Toronto Blue Jays and Max Walla, a prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Pacheco, Gracey, Walla and Dinger made the rounds at the hospital, popping their heads into each room and striking conversations with the children and their families. They spoke with hospital staff, signed autographs and posed for countless photos. It was a special morning and the group was able to brighten the days for all those in the hospital that day.

The hospital visit was the last stop in a rewarding road trip, and Dinger and the Rockies said goodbye to Jordan for now and hit the road again, headed back home.

Rockies License Plates - Take Your Own Road Trip

Rockies License Plates

Show your pride with a Colorado Rockies license plate!

For a $52.80 donation to the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation, Colorado residents have the option to purchase "CR" vanity plates. For more information on how you can get a Rockies license plate, including frequently asked questions, visit Rockies.com/license.

It's a simple four-step process, so get yours today!

Rockies Fest - Fan Fest for the Ages

Rockies Fest

After a one-year hiatus due to extensive construction at Coors Field during the 2013 offseason, Rockies Fest returned in 2014! Taking place at 20th & Blake on Jan. 25, Rockies Fest once again provided a chance for fans to rub elbows with their favorite Rockies players through a number of fun and unique experiences.

This year's Rockies Fest consisted of two different sessions: a morning session from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. which was exclusive to Rockies Season Ticket Holders, and an afternoon session-1 p.m. to 4 p.m.-that was open to the general public. As a perk of their membership, Season Ticket Holders were permitted to attend both sessions; all money from ticket sales went to Rockies Charities.

Rockies Fest 2014 featured a variety of great experiences and opportunities for fans. Q&A stage sessions have become a staple of Rockies Fest and remain one of the most popular attractions; covering a variety of topics, sessions were filled to capacity throughout the day. Introduced in 2012, Rockies Family Feud was a smash hit and each live show was filled to capacity and featured teams of players and audience members battling it out.

With Rockies PA voice, Reed Saunders, hosting the show and the funny answers from the contestants, the laughs were plentiful at all of the Rockies Family Feud shows. Autograph sessions allowed fans to get a signature from their favorite players and there were plenty of activities in the kids' area, including storytelling by players, to keep even the youngest Rockies fans engaged throughout the day. Fans were even able to take photographs with the Rockies at photo opportunities in the Press Club that were taking place throughout the, a new feature for 2014.

And for those fans who could not attend Rockies Fest in person, the ROCK SOCIAL Studio served as the hub for the Rockies Fest content on social media and followers were afforded their "show" throughout the day as players stopped by the Studio area to partake in numerous games and activities.

This year, the Rockies added a new charitable component to Rockies Fest-a Coors Field chair sale. Chairs sold out quickly and all of the funds raised through the sale went to Colorado Rockies Charities to help fund a variety of physical and educational programs on the Front Range. With the Chairs for Charity sale, along with the ever-popular merchandise "Garage Sale" plus admission cost for the public session, the club was able to raise a significant amount of money for Rockies Charities, funds that can truly make a difference in the community.

Along with providing the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite players, in person and in a virtual sense, Rockies Fest was also a good time for fans to meet some of the Rockies' new additions to the roster this offseason before the new season begins. While not every new Rockie was able to attend this year, Brett Anderson, Brandon Barnes, Jordan Lyles and Justin Morneau were on hand to meet some of their new fans. It was a nice "get-to-know-you" for both the fans and the players.

By all metrics, Rockies Fest 2014 was a success and a way for Rockies fans to satisfy, albeit temporarily, their appetite for Rockies Baseball with Spring Training just a few weeks away.

Click below for a brief photo recap of Rockies Fest.

Heating Up - Spring Training Begins this Month

Spring Training

With Spring Training beginning this month, now is the time to book your trip to Arizona to watch the Rockies in Cactus League action.

Spring Training tickets and travel packages are available now and there's still time to reserve your seats. For more information on Rockies Spring Training and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, visit Rockies.com/spring and we'll see you in sunny Scottsdale!

Grants Galore - The Rockies Give Back to Organizations Who Give Back

On Feb. 4, the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, hosted a special breakfast at Coors Field for some of their closest partners. During the event, the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund awarded a total of over $449,000 to 20 local non-profit agencies who do important work in the community. These agencies specialize in a variety of different areas, including providing measurable support for at-risk youth in the areas of education, child abuse prevention and health.

Community Grants

Player Spotlight - Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau

On Dec. 13, the Rockies signed free-agent first baseman Justin Morneau to a two-year contract. Morneau, 32, is a former American League Most Valuable Player (2006) who will step into the void left by Todd Helton at first base and looking to regain his All-Star caliber production at the plate.

In 2013, Morneau hit .259 with 17 home runs and 77 RBIs in 152 total games last season, 127 games with the Minnesota Twins before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates and appearing in 25 more games during their run to the postseason. Morneau is poised to break out again in 2014, hoping to wear out the outfield gaps at Coors Field.

A native of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, Morneau grew up idolizing two prominent No. 33s-Larry Walker and Patrick Roy. After signing with the Rockies, Morneau talked to Walker, now a good friend and mentor, who gave Morneau his blessing to don the No. 33 jersey that Walker had worn proudly in purple pinstripes for over 1,100 games, a number that helped earn him five Gold Gloves, four All-Star honors, two Silver Sluggers and the 1997 MVP Award.

After spending his career in Minnesota, with just a quick layover in Pittsburgh, Morneau figures to be an important component of Colorado's success in 2014.

Community Spotlight - Raymond Garcia Sr.

Raymond Garcia Sr.

Raymond Garcia Sr. was born in Antonito, Colo., and moved to Denver in the early 60s. Garcia is an electrician by trade and he worked as Master Electrician for Denver Public Schools for 20 years, then spent another 20 years with Denver Water. Garcia has spent just as many hours serving the Denver community through his involvement with the Knights of Columbus-over 25 years-and the America Legion for over 35 years. He has also volunteered countless hours with Centro San Juan Diego on building and improvement projects. Garcia is a family man with three children and seven grandchildren.