By Eddie Pells
DENVER - It's October in Colorado. The Broncos are playing. Snow showers are in the forecast. The leaves are turning red and yellow and brown.
The dominant color in the Mile High City these days, though, is purple.
It's "Rocktober" in Colorado. The Rockies, crazy as it sounds, are in the World Series.
No Curse of the Bambino. No Wrigley Field goat. Just pure Rockies magic.
Sad-sack losers almost all their 15 seasons of existence, the Rockies have won 21 of 22 games and seven in a row in the playoffs.
Suddenly, it's cool to wear a black and purple Rockies cap around town. First baseman Todd Helton is a bigger star than the Broncos quarterback, Jay Cutler.
As fantastic and unlikely as it may seem to that handful of long-suffering season-ticket holders who watched their team veer from early success to unbecoming circus act to essentially irrelevant, it carries an even more poignant meaning in a city that cruelly flirted with baseball for decades, only to have its heart broken again and again.
Today, the thought of the one-time purveyors of the unwatchable, four-hour, 12-11 slugfest in the World Series sounds every bit as outlandish and tantalizing as the idea 30 years ago that Major League Baseball would someday land in Denver.
But Denver finally did get its team. And now the city stands one step from the next baseball milestone in what has been an emotional, memory-filled ride for any native who also happens to be a sports fan.
Yes, Denver has always been a football town - a city that attached itself to the Broncos and married much of its self-esteem and hope to heroes wearing orange and blue.
In between those football-filled autumns, there had to be something to do to pass the time. There was. It was just on a much smaller scale.
Mile High Stadium - the real Mile High Stadium that is now a parking lot adjacent to the new Invesco Field - was originally Bears Stadium, a 17,000-seater built on the corner of 19th and Clay in 1948 for the Denver Bears of the old Western League.
Watching baseball there, after the Bears had moved into Triple-A and the American Association, was a surreal experience.
In the late 1970s and early '80s, someday, the thinking went that stadium would be home to a big-league team.
That was always a dream that seemed close, yet so far away for Denver. More than a decade later, Colorado finally got its own team.
Now it's "Rocktober" in Colorado. The World Series is coming to Denver.
How crazy does that sound?