Rockies fan who’s been to every opening day since 1993 has nothing to do this year

Like puppies and grandchildren, Roger Dudley loves all his Rockies opening days equally.

Well, except for 2018.

2018 can bugger off.

“The worst one, of course, was that freezing game, two years ago,” Dudley recalled in a voice cold enough to match his April nadir. “That was the only game I haven’t stayed to see the end of.

“They were down 8-3 and I was shivering and miserable. I decided I wouldn’t keep score for that one. They never would’ve played it if it hadn’t been opening day there. No way they would’ve done it. Just an awful game and an awful day.”

Courtesy Roger Dudley

Roger Dudley with his peanuts at Opening Day 2019.

And yet Friday will somehow feel worse. Dudley has been there for every Rockies opening day since 1993, Coors Field or Mile High, snow or shine. A run of 27 straight.

Only thanks to the coronavirus, opening day won’t be there for him. Or his cousin from Pueblo who always comes up to celebrate the rite of spring. Or his posse, the gang that since 1999 have met up for pregame lunch at El Taco De Mexico before embarking on a two-mile trek to the park.

“Opening day has retained that sparkle,” said Dudley, a baseball lifer and a genealogist who retired a year ago from his archivist gig with the Denver Public Library. “To me, it’s like Happy New Year.”

So what the heck do you do when the big day comes and the ball won’t drop?

“There’s nothing to do,” Dudley countered. “I’ve got a couple of (recorded) games I can watch. But it’s like you know the outcomes. And that’s the whole magic of sports: It’s always different. You never know what’s going to happen.”