Part of the 2017 Winter Caravan, a quartet of Colorado Rockies players stopped by CSU for a meet and greet event Wednesday afternoon at the Lory Student Center.
The event allowed community members and students to get autographs and take pictures with Carlos Estevez, David Dahl, Gerardo Parra and Tom Murphy.
Prior to the meet and greet, players and members of the Rockies organization took a tour of the soon to be opened on-campus football stadium. One Rockies employees present was assistant director of community affairs Dallas Davis, who is more widely recognized around Fort Collins for his record-setting years as a wide receiver for the Rams (1997-2001) during the Sonny Lubick era.
“During the planning meetings (for the tour), I got excited because I get to come back home and show our guys what takes place an hour north of where they are normally located,” Davis said. “For our players, it is hard for them to get too far outside of Denver, so any time we can get them out in the community, especially the community I grew up in and went to school, it is a blessing for me.”
Davis described the new home of Colorado State football with one word, “amazing.” He explained how he had seen the stadium here and there but this was the first time he had an opportunity to get out of the car and take it all in.
“The players had not been on campus before,” Davis said. “These guys live in different areas of the country and in the world, so when they come to Fort Collins and are in awe when they see something like the new stadium, the new student center, some of the academic buildings. So CSU is definitely on the map and are going to continue to be in our clubhouse.”
A pair of the Rockies visiting Colorado State for the first time included outfielder David Dahl and catcher Tom Murphy. Prior to signing autographs and making many little Rockies fans’ days, the pair discussed their offseason.
Murphy spends his offseason hunting on the east coast while Dahl goes home to Houston, where he trains during the winter, but both admit the majority of their time is spent preparing for the upcoming season.
With just weeks until the team reports to Arizona for spring training, both Dahl and Murphy are excited to get back to the grind under new manager Bud Black.
“I’m looking forward to playing with him (Black), I’ve heard a lot of great things,” Dahl said. “I think it is going to be a little different than last year but it is just a very exciting time for the Rockies.”
Murphy is also looking forward to the new year, echoing similar thoughts to his teammate.
“Once games start, that is when you realize what you worked on during the offseason and how it is going to transfer, what needs to change and what you need to still do to prepare for the season,” Murphy said.
After leaving the Colorado State campus, the Rockies held a private lunch at the Rio Mexican Grill for season ticket holders from the northern region, donors and various Colorado State employees, including head football coach Mike Bobo.
Collegian sports reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @ JustinTMichael.