By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4)– Playing Major League Baseball is a privilege, but the travel, double headers and rain delays can take a toll. Now, the Colorado Rockies have created a place at the ballpark for players to recover.
They call it the quiet room. A season with a total of 162 games can be a grind. Sometimes players just need to unwind.
It wasn’t always easy.
“Our nap time was right in front of our locker with a baseball glove for our pillow,” explained Rockies catcher Tony Wolters.
“Isn’t that comfortable?” Wolters asked as he and CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh leaned back in comfortable recliners.
Wolters showed Walsh the brand new quiet room at Coors Field. It has controlled lighting and temperature, and two beds with screens for better sleep.
“Nolan and Desmond… a lot of those guys go in these rooms and sleep,” said Wolters.
He prefers the chairs.
“As baseball players we’re constantly thinking about everything the pitcher that we’re going to face the hitters that we’re going to face,” he said. “I’ll come here before games, after games, just to kind of slow everything down.”
Catching a couple zzz’s is encouraged.
“This is baseball’s nap time,” said Rockies Head Athletic Trainer Keith “Doogie” Dugger.
He called the team’s cross country travel schedule terrible.
“We’ll jump time zones back and forth, so sometimes, these guys sleep schedules are messed up,” said Dugger.
And often times a little shut eye is just what the sleep medicine doctor ordered.
“Judgment and performance are improved after a nap,” said sleep medicine expert Dr. Katherine Green at the University of Colorado Hospital.
To her, the Rockies new room is a hit.
“The environment that you sleep in has a lot to do with your sleep quality,” said Green.
Wolters admits the room isn’t always quiet.
“I’ve heard someone snore in that bed, don’t know who it was,” he said.
But, he said he always leaves rested, recovered and ready to play ball.