Mile High Magic

It’s springtime in the Rockies, which means … snow. And since springtime in America means baseball, baseball in the Mile High City becomes something special, but not just because of the unpredictable weather patterns here. There’s something else quite special about being a mile high – and that’s how far a baseball will travel. A ball travels 9 percent farther at Coors Field than at sea level. This means that a home-run hit 400 feet in Yankee Stadium would travel 440 feet in Denver. When Coors Field was built, the designers ‘compensated’ for this by creating an outfield that is much larger than other stadiums; yet, in spite of this, in 1999 Coors Field achieved a record of 303 home runs, the most ever in a season at one venue. Then ten years ago, since dried-out baseballs fly farther, a climate-controlled storage room (the Coors Field humidor) was installed at the Field to keep the baseballs moist. Although this helped even the playing field, so to speak, Coors Field remains a hitter’s park. This is the magic of being a mile high.

But, there is something else spectacular about seeing a game at Coors Field. Even those who don’t love baseball can sense it. It’s as if there is an electric spark in the air. The crowds, the noise, the dads with their children, the hot dogs – it all creates an infectious sense of excitement and a true feel of Americana. And although this probably exists at other ball parks, here we have something extraordinary, because we have all this with a piercing blue sky, the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains, and as the first stars come out and the umpire calls, “Play Ball!” , we recognize in that moment the indescribable sense of … magic.

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