Rox unveil McGregor memorial at Coors Field
Initials of late team president affixed to wall in right field
DENVER -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy braced for a difficult Tuesday night.
The Rockies unveiled a permanent memorial at Coors Field to the late Keli S. McGregor, the club president who died in April at age 48 when a rare viral infection attacked his heart. The initials "KSM" were unveiled along the lower part of the right-field wall in fair territory in a ceremony before Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers.
On the field behind home plate for the ceremony were McGregor's wife, Lori, three daughters, Jordan, Taylor and Landri, and son, Logan. Also on hand were his parents, Brian and Margaret, and two of his three sisters, Cindi and Terri.
Rockies players Todd Helton, Aaron Cook, Ryan Spilborghs and Troy Tulowitzki presented the McGregor children with No. 88 jerseys -- the same ones that have hung in the club's dugout since McGregor's death. They were signed by every member of the team.
The No. 88 represents the jersey number McGregor wore as a football standout at Colorado State University. McGregor played professionally with the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.
The memorial on the wall is a circle with McGregor's initials and purple pinstripes in the background.
Tracy recalled the sad morning of April 25, when family, friends and Rockies employees on the field and off had a memorial service for McGregor before a game against the Marlins. The heavy-hearted Rockies won that day's game, 8-4, but Tracy remembered the day for more than baseball. He expected to remember Tuesday the same way.
"We're revisiting somebody that went well beyond liked here -- loved here, by so many people," Tracy said before the ceremony. "Knowing what we went through back that Sunday morning before we had to play a game that afternoon against the Marlins, I can promise you this: The early part of this evening is not going to be easy. But it definitely has to be done.
"It's important. To look out there and see those initials and things like that, I think it's something that needs to be there as a reminder so that he's never, ever forgotten. I don't think he will be anyway."
McGregor joined the Rockies in October 1993 and was instrumental in the development of Coors Field before becoming club president on Oct. 18, 2001.