Before the first full-team practice on Monday featuring all fifty-nine players invited to Colorado Rockies Spring Training camp, each one walked into the clubhouse at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick with a different tale to tell from their offseason.
Many played an additional week of baseball in October, from another Game 163, to the Wild Card Game and a three-game Division Series, and several others played into November as part of the six-week Arizona Fall League for organizational prospects looking to develop even further.
The best news of the offseason came in the form of wedding bells for Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story and David Dahl, while rookie speedster Garrett Hampson got engaged.
“A long time coming. Seven years, we met in high school. She’s definitely the one,” Hampson glowingly reported with a smile from ear-to-ear.
Starting pitcher and non-roster invitee Chi Chi Gonzalez was happy to mention his time at home in South Florida, adding, “I’ve got a little baby girl, 15 months. So, I had fun with that.”
The latest addition to Ryan McMahon’s family was a new house.
“I’m a homeowner now. A lot of bills I didn’t know came with the house,” he said almost exasperated. “I’m learning about being an adult right now.”
A few players took trips to see family or to simply enjoyed the fruits of their labor. However, catcher Brian Serven, 23, stayed as close to home as possible, mentioning, “I lived (in the Phoenix area) and spent a majority of my time here at Salt River Fields.”
Some players went back to warmer climates like Jake McGee who had, “just a normal offseason in Tampa,” while Harrison Musgrave went back to West Virginia, where it was, “a little cold, a little rainy, all that.”
Bret Boswell, recently drafted in 2017, got the invitation to major league camp after just one full season in the minors. “I was pumped,” the Texas native shared. “They called me the day before Christmas, so it was kind of an early Christmas present. I was really excited.”
Josh Fuentes gave the most underwhelming answer regarding his offseason activities, albeit for good reason.
“Boring, but a lot of work.” Fuentes said, adding, “This offseason when I got the call to get put on the 40-Man, (MLB is) so close you can touch it. For me, it feels attainable. That’s how I approached this offseason.”
And though all Rockies were focused on coming to camp with the single goal of winning a World Series, some had the specific intent on getting in the best shape of their lives in order to make that happen.
“It was great. Got bigger, faster, stronger,” second baseman Brendan Rodgers proudly responded. “I lost some bad weight that I needed to get off me. Cleaned it up a little bit. Got in good shape.”
Regardless of the past four-plus months without proper baseball for the Colorado Rockies, the offseason is over and the quest for the first National League West pennant and World Series Championship for the franchise has begun.