Rockies fans have mile-high hopes of a World Series championship. The Colorado Rockies Baseball Club joined the ranks of Major League Baseball as an expansion team in 1993. Thanks to the rarefied air in Denver, the franchise's Coors Field home has developed a reputation as a hitter-friendly park where even ordinary pop-ups can drift into the bleachers. Colorado earned its first National League pennant in 2007. CEO Charlie Monfort and his brother Dick have controlled the team since 2005. FOX Sports Net also owns a 14% interest in the franchise, as does brewer Molson Coors.
Faithful Rockies fans had to endure many losing seasons before their team finally made it to the Fall Classic in 2007; Colorado swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS that year to win the pennant. In the World Series, though, it was the Rockies who got swept by the Boston Red Sox. Two years later the team fired manager Clint Hurdle after a slow start to the 2009 campaign. Jim Tracy was promoted to interim manager. Hurdle had led the dugout since 2002.
The Colorado franchise was first granted to a group led by Michael Monus, founder of the Phar-Mor drugstore chain. Trucking magnate Jerry McMorris later took control of the team until he sold his stake to the Monfort brothers. The Monfort family built their fortune in the meat packing business before selling out to Swift & Company (now part of JBS USA).
FOX acquired its stake in the Rockies for about $20 million in 2004 as part of a 10-year, $200 million TV rights agreement. The deal came at the right time for the cash-strapped Rockies, allowing Monfort to cancel a cash call for $18 million from his other investors to fund operations.