You can add the Colorado Rockies to the long list of people trying to help the healing process in Aurora, Colo. After returning from a week-long road trip, a group of 12 players — ranging from veterans Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer to rookie Josh Rutledge — as well as manager Jim Tracy paid a special visit on Thursday to the survivors still being treated at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.
After playing a game in Phoenix on Wednesday night, the Rockies arrived in Denver at about 3 a.m. Thursday morning. On the message board inside the clubhouse, a notice was posted asking for volunteers to meet with victims at the hospital.
"It was a simple matter of a memo on the board and this was the result," Tracy said, shaking his head. "We would have had a heck of a lot larger group — heck, we might have had the whole team — but because we were going to be in the ICU, we had to limit our numbers.["]
In addition to those mentioned above, the other Rockies selected to make the trip were Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers, Mike Ekstrom, Christian Friedrich, Adam Ottavino, Jordan Pacheco, Drew Pomeranz, Josh Roenicke and Eric Young Jr.
"Getting in at three in the morning and coming in on our off day? That can't even come close to what's going on here," Cuddyer said. "There wasn't even a thought not to come. To be able to brighten somebody's day, even if we are with them for just five minutes, is huge."
According to the Denver Post column, the Rockies were able to visit five patients in total, including 22-year-old Farrah Soudani, who remains in the intensive care unit. Her boyfriend, Mike White, a survivor of the shooting himself, was in the room when the Rockies group began to file in.
"It brought tears to her eyes," White said. "They cheered her up. They told her to stay strong."
Lifting the spirits of those wounded was important to the Rockies, but just as important was being able to walk around the emergency room and personally thank each and every member of the hospital staff who have committed their life to saving the lives of others.
Blessed to be in my position, but the heroes are the staffs that work at hospitals saving lives. I have a better understanding of that today.
You can't say it any better than that. Hats off to the Colorado Rockies, and many thanks to the medical personnel in Aurora, Colo., and all over the world who work hard everyday to preserve, prolong, and improve our lives.