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
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
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.
Grain Elevator/Truckers Terminal dominated
the area. It stood tall and boxy at Blake
Street and 20th Street Viaduct.
field with only towering power lines running
through it, would now become the home of
Kim Allen, first person to
hit home run at Coor's Field.
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.