The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Peanuts and Cracker Jack #9: Why the Rockies Needed Elías Díaz’s All-Star Triumph

Quinn Rudnick
Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, hasn’t been a place of triumph for its home team for years. In this June 27 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers (pictured), they were hopelessly shutout 5-0. But, when Rockies catcher Elías Díaz hit a two-run, game winning home run at the 2023 All-Star Game in Seattle on July 11, Colorado fans got a taste of what victory feels like.

On July 10, 2012, the National League (NL) trampled the American League (AL) in the All-Star Game, 8-0. Every year, the fan-voted best players from each league congregate to play a ballgame. Some compete in the home run derby, but the main spectacle is the All-Star Game, a way to showcase talent from all over the MLB.

2012 was the final time the NL would defeat the AL. Until, that is, they edged out a 3-2 victory on Tuesday’s Seattle-hosted league showdown.

The game-winner was a two-run home run, hit by none other than the Rockies’ sole all-star, catcher Elías Díaz. The blast secured him the no-brainer MVP crystal bat after the game.

In the first half of the season, Díaz has been a lonely ray of sunshine in a season where everything is down in the dumps for the Rockies. Colorado has played eight primary starting pitchers in 2023. Four of them are injured, two have an ERA above 6.00, and one was cut within the first month of the season. The pitching staff is not the only one affected. Cornerstone players like CJ Cron, Kris Bryant, and Charlie Blackmon have all experienced injured stints as well.

Meanwhile, Díaz had a strong start to the season. His hitting stood out in a team with a .255 batting average overall. What really got Colorado fans’ attention was his home performance, hitting .321 at Coors Field. On June 23, he belted a grand slam against Mike Trout and the LA Angels, the first club slam since 2021.

He’s not just outstanding offensively. A large portion of his All-Star campaign was his work behind the plate. He caught 15 batters stolen and had the second best caught stealing percentage in the MLB.

When Díaz was selected for the Midsummer Classic, faithful Rockies fans hoped it would provide him with some deserved attention for his efforts. He did so much more than that.

In the sixth inning, Toronto Blue Jay shortstop Bo Bichette hit a sacrifice fly to send home Kansas City Royal catcher Salvador Pérez. The game looked like a done deal, and the AL would bring home a tenth consecutive victory. Then, a little-known, mile-high catcher stepped up to the plate.

As soon as the ball left Díaz’s bat, everybody in the park knew the game was thrown in a new direction. And as soon as the game ended, the decision to name Díaz MVP wasn’t contested.

Things just can’t go right for a couple teams in the MLB. While the Rockies’ situation might not be as grim as the Oakland (more like Las Vegas) Athletics dumpster fire, small victories help. And Díaz’s elated grin as he trotted the bases is enough to lift our hearts for a while.

The Rockies will not make the postseason. Multiple players are out for the season with injuries. The front office is doing no good to solve problems. But Rockies fans can hold onto this for a while. Because that award for hero of the game wasn’t won by a Yankee, a Dodger, or an Astro. It was won by Denver’s hometown backstop, Elías Díaz.

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About the Contributors
Peter Philpott
Peter Philpott, News Editor & Outreach Coordinator
Hey there! My name's Peter, I'm a junior, and I'm the USJ's News Editor and Outreach Coordinator. I believe that the first amendment is incredibly important, and as journalists we have the right and the duty to uphold it. I am very passionate for news reporting, from small, local issues, to major politics or systemic change topics. This is why I love political/breaking news reporting, and one day I hope to be an investigative journalist. I also enjoy artistic photography in my free time. My position as Outreach Coordinator gives me the opportunity to connect to other newspapers, businesses, and families in the community to grow our reach and get our coverage in the hands of more people. I play trumpet and mellophone and I am part of Creek's Marching Band. I'm enthusiastic to inform this school on the happenings of our community, from Capitol Hill to the quad. Also, check out my column, Peanuts and Cracker Jack, where I talk about in-depth baseball!

To contact me by email, access my portfolio, or view my photography Instagram account, click the respective buttons below.

Quinn Rudnick
Quinn Rudnick, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, my name is Quinn Rudnick, and I am the USJ's Editor-in-Chief. I am a senior at CCHS - and this is my fourth year on staff at the USJ. I hold a strong passion for both journalism and photojournalism, and intend to pursue a career in politics and law. As a journalist, I strive to present information to the student body and beyond in a factual and digestible fashion. The importance of journalism is based in allowing the public to understand what's happening around them, so that is what I strive to do. I write a lot about local and global politics, as well as local theatre and events around the school. You can find me at a lot of Creek sports games, fueling my passion for sports photography and reporting. Outside of the USJ, I follow Formula One racing, the Nuggets and the Avs, and I love being outside, whether that's on hikes, or by snowboarding and mountain biking. 

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