By Dillon Thomas
DENVER (CBS4)– With Rockpile tickets to Sunday’s Colorado Rockies playoff game on Sunday going for more than $100 on the secondary market, many young athletes in Colorado won’t be able to afford the price of admission.
Thanks to the Colorado Rockies organization, nearly two dozen athletes and some coaches from Denver’s North High School will have great seats to the game.
The Rockies have sponsored a program called “RBI” through Denver Public Schools for decades, providing students the opportunity to play softball and baseball through the summer, to avoid paying for club sports.
Participants of the RBI program at North High were surprised on Friday with a visit from former Colorado Rockies player Cory Sullivan.
“(The playoff environment at Coors Field) is something I wish you guys could experience,” Sullivan said to the athletes.
While the athletes thought Sullivan was there to talk to them about the benefits of RBI, they didn’t know Dinger, the Rockies mascot, was waiting in the hallway with tickets to Sunday’s game.
Each student was given a ticket to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The tickets are in section 206. Similar tickets were selling for as little as $135 on the secondary market.
“(It was) so exciting. I have never been to a playoff game,” said Yanitza Banueles, a softball player.
“I really wasn’t expecting any of this,” said Seth Lucero, a baseball player. “Yeah, in 2007, I remember watching on TV and being excited. To be there in person (this year) is going to be a whole other experience.”
For the coaches, seeing the students react to the announcement was the best part.
“I saw one kid jump out of his seat. It was pretty cool,” said Ernesto Marquez, the head baseball coach at Denver North.
One lucky softball player will throw the first pitch at Sunday’s game. If the Rockies make it to game four on Monday, a baseball player will be given the same opportunity.
“The fact that we all got (tickets) was really exciting, and put a smile on my face. It made my day,” Lucero said. “We are going to lose our voices. We are going to lose our minds. It is going to be awesome. I think we will show a lot of rocky pride. And, I am really excited.”
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.