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Coors Field History

Let's take a long walk and a little journey around the Coors Field area from around 1983 to 1993. People will differ on particular boundaries of the area. I am comfortable with Larimer Street to the East, 18th Street to the South, Delgany and Wewatta viaduct ramp exits to the West, and 23rd Street viaduct (now Park Avenue West) as the North boundary.

The general feel of the area was abandonment and desolation. Prosperous times had vanished - fragments of usage clinging to life. It was always quiet, except for the timely rumbling trains. It was sometimes dusty and usually safe, but one had to be aware and

respectful of uncertain encounters with strangers.

Workers went about their daily routines, but not in a rushed pace. A traveling railroad hobo or homeless person kept his distance, sometimes a loner, sometime part of a group, and often choosing to stay close to the viaducts,  where shade provided shelter to make a camp to rest and regroup.  Some hobos would move to the nearby Bottoms area near the Flour Mill Building or to the Platte River for trees and scrubs to camp


The viaducts loomed large over the narrow flat expanse of the Platte Valley where the essential terrain facilitated the infrastructure of the rail roads. The West side of Downtown would eventually have 10 viaducts span the valley servicing the automobile in and out of Denver, but I am going to focus on  the 20th Street and 23rd Street viaducts. Coors Field would be built between them. The Union Pacific HeadHouse at 19th Street and Wynkoop Street would stretch 100 yards, just north under the 20th Street viaduct, now demolished. This structure is now occupied by the Chophouse, Sing-Sing and Fados Irish Pub.  One Wynkoop Plaza Lofts is directly behind to the West of the HeadHouse.

The Firemen's Grain Elevator/Truckers Terminal dominated the area. It stood tall and boxy at Blake Street and 20th Street Viaduct.

A desolated field with only towering power lines running through it, would now become the home of Coors Field. 


Kim Allen, first person to hit home run at Coor's Field.     1990


With the aid of global positioning, the future home plate and infield would be caulked out for the first time ever.  I had an idea, but I needed a baseball bat.  My childhood neighbors, the Melphy family, always had lots of sports equipment in their garage.  Mr. Ralph Melphy Sr. graciously lent me a bat for this historic occasion.

I set up my tripod, felt confident and dug into the batter's box. I remembered the pose of Babe Ruth, indicating with the point of the baseball bat towards the grandstands, that an imminent home run was predicted.  Here comes
the pitch...its going - going - GONE !

Thanks Mr. Ralph Melphy Sr. and family, we made history.

- Kim Allen

 

 

 

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ęCopyright 1983 Kim Allen Denver Photo Archives