• Rockies call up 3B prospect from Sky Sox… but not THAT one

    Fri, April 26, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    Ryan Wheeler seemed a bit confused as he settled into the Rockies’ organization. He saw far too many people who played his position and wondered why in the world the franchise had just dealt for him.

    “I don’t know, maybe they’re looking to move some of us or something,” Wheeler said in early April, two days before he debuted with the Sky Sox.

    Turns out, the team just needed that depth, as it illustrated on Thursday when Wheeler was called up to replace the injured Todd Helton. Wheeler started at third and batted sixth, going 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout against Arizona — the franchise that dealt Wheeler to Colorado in November for reliever Matt Reynolds.

    Many Rockies fans undoubtedly would have liked to have seen Nolan Arenado get this call, as the team’s top prospect has assaulted Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .759 slugging percentage entering Thursday with 21 RBIs in 16 games. But there’s no reason for the team to rush Arenado and start the ticking of his free agency clock.

    As for Wheeler, he’s certainly more than organizational filler. And the fragility of the Rockies’ core is exactly why they brought him aboard. Between Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez, none have played as many as 145 games in a season since 2009.

    Wheeler was rated as the No. 10 prospect in the Rockies’ organization by “Baseball America” this year following a campaign where he hit .351 with 90 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Reno last year before playing 50 games for the Diamondbacks.

    The Rockies would be wise to plug him at third through Helton’s DL stint to see what they have in him. He was batting .348 for the Sky Sox with 16 RBIs through 15 games. His memorable moment in his short stay was a towering walk-off home run against Tucson.

    The Rockies, by the way, could save some money by having their Triple-A guys carpool. Wheeler joins Tyler Chatwood and Rob Scahill as players who have been called up in the past four days (though Scahill was already sent back down).One other thing to note with Wheeler

  • Sox notes: Hill’s approach to Triple-A includes absolutely no interest in streaks, stats

    Mon, April 22, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    Glenallen Hill’s approach to his Triple-A managerial job was summed up by his response to a question about Charlie Dickerson’s 15-game hitting streak.

    “Someone told me yesterday, but I could care less about his hitting streak, to be honest with you,” said Hill, the first-year Sky Sox manager. “That’s an individual thing and he’s a team player. I just wish the boy would continue to have good, quality at bats and increase his awareness about the game in different situations.”

    Dickerson extended his streak with a pinch-hit single, the third time during the streak it was been extended as a pinch hitter. The 23-year-old outfielder is batting .400 in his first month in Triple-A.

    A manager who was protective of such a streak would never send that guy up as a pinch hitter.

    Hill has no interest in streaks, stats or, it seems, outcomes of games at this level. He has regularly allowed relief pitchers to bat in situations, he pulls players at the slightest hint of an injury and he has runners routinely gunned down on the basepaths as he tells them to trust their instincts.

    It’s all part of his singular focus on player development.

     

    Minor injuries

    Sky Sox reliever Logan Kensing was pulled from the game during his warmup pitches prior to the ninth inning.

    The reason he came out wasn’t because he was experiencing any difficulties, but because he had taken a ball off his throwing shoulder when he squared to bunt in the eighth. Hill, who was coaching third base, didn’t realize the ball had caught Kensing on the shoulder until he got back into the dugout between innings. When he heard, he immediately went out to get Kensing.

    “He said he was fine, but I’m not taking any chances,” Hill said. “He’s such a fierce competitor that if it’s not broke or bleeding or falling off, he’s not going to tell me he can’t pitch.”

    Dickerson was a late scratch to the game after he complained of a sore wrist from Saturday’s game.

    “I err on the cautious side,” Hill said. “He told me after getting treatment that it felt great, but I didn’t want to take any chances. We had plenty of capable bodies.”

     

    Tidbits

    The Sky Sox had collected 18 singles on three previous occasions. … Attendance was announced at 4,599. … Nolan Arenado had 10 assists at third base. … Las Vegas’ Juan Lagares opened the game with a leadoff home run. The teams then combined for 31 more hits, with only three going for extra bases – all three doubles.

  • Sox notes: Hill talks about delivering his first MLB call-up as a Triple-A manager

    Sun, April 21, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    Glenallen Hill got his first taste of the biggest perk of being a Triple-A manager – telling a player he’s headed for the major leagues.

    Granted, this was Josh Outman, a veteran of several big-league seasons, so the emotion probably wasn’t the same as a guy getting his first shot. Still, life changes for anybody going from Triple-A to the majors and Hill was the one delivering the news.

    “It’s just like a father sending his son off to college,” Hill said. “You just remind him that he’s qualified to go and if keeps doing what he’s doing he’s going to be successful.”

    Hill called Outman into his room after Thursday’s game in Reno to provide the news.

     

    No issues with catcher

    Aaron Cook said his Sky Sox record four wild pitches in Saturday’s start had nothing to do with adjusting to a new catcher.

    Lars Davis caught the entire game as the Sky Sox set a team record with five wild pitches.

    “We’ve worked together in the past in my rehab starts and we’ve been on the same page pretty much,” Cook said. “It was just that I was trying to do a little bit too much and it got by him.”

     

    No Wheeler, at least that one

    Las Vegas pitcher Zack Wheeler, the top-rated pitcher in the New York Mets organization and a consensus top-20 prospect in baseball, will not pitch in this four-game series as he threw on Friday as Las Vegas completed a series against Sacramento.

    Of course, there’s no shortage of Wheelers at Security Service Field as long as Ryan Wheeler and Tim Wheeler remain on the Sky Sox roster.

     

    Rare off-night

    The Rockies’ top prospect, third baseman Nolan Arenado, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. His averaged dropped to .389.

     

    Tidbits

    The three runs surrendered by the Sky Sox and Aaron Cook in the first inning represented the first first-inning runs they had given up this season. The team had outscored opponents 16-0 in the first through its first 15 games. … Attendance was announced at 3,146.

  • Branch Rickey III gives approval of “42,” particularly Harrison Ford’s portrayal of his grandfather

    Sun, April 21, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    The flaws Branch Rickey III found with “42,” the Jackie Robinson biopic produced by Harrison Ford and starring Ford in the major role of Rickey’s grandfather, were minimal.

    “It’s got some things I wish could have been done better. Those are about this size,” said Rickey, a Colorado Springs resident and president of the Pacific Coast League, as he pinched his fingers within about an inch of each other.

    “And it’s got some things that it really did well, and those are about this size,” he said, stretching his hands far apart.

    “I think it’s a warm satisfaction for all the members of the family,” said Rickey, one of 18 cousins in his generation.

    The film, of course, tells the story of Jackie Robinson’s historic entry into Major League Baseball, a color-line breaking move made possible by Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who signed him.

    Rickey III was born in 1945 – the year Robinson and his grandfather first shook hands on an agreement to join the organization. Robinson debuted in the major leagues two years later. Rickey’s grandfather died in 1965 – his father before that – so while Rickey was far too young to grasp the historical ramifications of the events as they happened, he has been immersed in the narrative most of his life and has long served as the family’s spokesman.

    Though he was set to serve as a technical adviser to a Robert Redford-produced film on the topic that was never made, Rickey stayed away from any involvement in “42.”

    “I was invited to be involved by Jackie’s daughter, Sharon, to have a conversation with the director and writer,” Rickey said. “I declined because (Jackie’s widow) Rachel had emphasized to me that she wanted it to be a Jackie Robinson movie. And, when she said that it occurred to me how badly I wanted it to be what Rachel wanted it to be and I didn’t want it to cause it be anything Rachel did not approve of. She was there, she lived the whole thing – I’m the next generation.”

    As for those minor flaws he found in the movie, he said they were unavoidable. In talking with the director and writer after the fact, they relayed the difficulty in trying to cram what were perhaps 14 separate stories into one coherent feature-length film. They instead focused on one story.

    “I think I’ve coined a word,” Rickey said. “This film has been Hollywoodized. It’s not a documentary. But the spirit and the essence of those Hollywoodizations – there’s another new word – they really distill the values that the real accurate events would portray had someone taken a lot longer to tell the story.”

    Rickey was skeptical that Ford could embody his grandfather on screen, but those fears were put to rest.

    “I’m dazzled by the obvious level of commitment that Harrison Ford had to go to to pull off this transformation from Han Solo, Indiana Jones to Branch Rickey, that’s a pretty long street,” Rickey said. “I have two cousins, both of whom were close to my grandfather, who both said only twice in the movie did Harrison Ford surface. The rest of the time, for them, he was their grandfather, which is a stunning thing.”

    The film has earned more than $27 million in its first week, taking the top spot in the box office. Rickey himself represents a chunk of those figures, saying he’s seen the movie “a few times.”

    AUTHOR’S NOTE: I admitted to Rickey that I had not yet seen, “42,” and he was at first appalled. I then explained that I hadn’t seen it or any other movie recently because I have three young children at home. He then said I would not only benefit from seeing it, but that I may want to see it again with my kids in 15 or so years. The story and its message will still resonate then, he said, just as it does now and just as it has for the past 66 years.

  • Outman becomes first Sky Sox player promoted this year

    Sat, April 20, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    If you had Josh Outman in your First-Sky-Sox-Player-To-Be-Called-Up-This-Season pool, it’s time to collect.

    If such a pool exists – and it should – Outman would have been a wise choice. Bullpen arms are typically among the first plucked, simply given the volatility at the position and sheer volume of nagging injuries to those guys called on to come out with guns blazing this early in the season.

    Outman had dominated in his short stint in Colorado Springs, posting a 0.84 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. Batters hit just .205 against him.

    The former 10th round pick by Philadelphia out of Central Missouri State (where he had the odd dietetics major), Outman has pitched in parts of four seasons in the major leagues – including 27 games with the Rockies last year in which he threw 40 2/3 innings. His other time was spent in Oakland.

    With Outman breaking the seal, who will be the next Sky Sox player called up by Colorado?

  • Sox notes: O’Dowd says Arenado’s future “will take care of itself”

    Tue, April 9, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd confirmed what was assumed with Nolan Arenado’s career path.

    The prospect is batting .438 for the Sky Sox after knocking in 12 runs (trailing just Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez for the team lead) in spring training. But his promotion was blocked by Chris Nelson, the former first-round pick who hit .344 over his final 54 games last year with a .500 slugging percentage.

    “He had a great spring,” O’Dowd said of Arenado. “I know Chris just had a very good second half for us, and we’ll just let Nolan keep playing.

    “At some point in time it will take care of itself.”

    Left unsaid was that Arenado’s arbitration/free agent clock is delayed by giving him more seasoning in the minors. It’s a situation that certainly makes sense, but Rockies fans will undoubtedly become restless if Arenado continues to mash in Triple-A – particularly with Colorado contending in the early going.

     

    O’Dowd’s new role

    O’Dowd, who saw his responsibilities shift in a unique move last year, attended Monday’s Sky Sox game against Tucson.

    O’Dowd frequented Triple-A games in the past, when he held a typical GM role, but he’ll likely be at Security Service Field more often now that he’s in charge of player development and Bill Geivett is handling the big league club’s roster.

    “It’s going to ebb and flow,” O’Dowd said of his role. “Trying to look at everything from 30,000 feet. I’m trying to get out and look at the draft, the player development system, stay in touch with our big-league club and really try to connect the dots better as an organization.”

    O’Dowd’s official title is executive vice president, chief baseball officer/general manager. Geivett is the senior vice president – major league operations/assistant GM

     

    More on Cook’s start

    Aaron Cook’s return to Colorado Springs was cruising along before the weather turned nasty. In the first two innings the veteran worked exclusively out of the windup, as he allowed just a leadoff single to Daniel Roberson – who was thrown out tyring to stretch it into a double.

    “Those first two innings when everything was normal and I could actually feel the ball in my hand everything was moving the way I wanted it to and I felt really good about it,” Cook said.

    “I’m not going to worry about what happened after that.”

     

    Cook’s obscure record

    It’s not necessarily a record anyone might want, but by taking the mound for the Sky Sox Cook became the first pitcher to appear in parts of seven seasons with the team.

    According to team historian Chris Moyer, the only other player to play parts of seven seasons with the Sky Sox was former back-up catcher Mark Strittmatter (1993, 1995-2000).

    Alan Cockrell had 5 playing seasons and 4 coaching seasons, while Stu Cole had 3 playing seasons and 4 coaching seasons.

     

    Wind-blown

    One of the more comical plays during the heavy wind was a Tucson single that looked at first like a sure foul popup. As Sky Sox first baseman Ryan Wheeler gave chase the ball drifted toward the line.

    “At that point you just hope it’s going foul,” Wheeler said. “I was going after it and looked up and it started going backward.”

    The ball blew by Wheeler and dropped just fair, giving Padres pitcher Jorge Reyes a single.

     

    More on the wind

    Nobody in the Sky Sox clubhouse seemed to remember playing in or even hearing about a game called because of wind (though manager Glenallen Hill said the cold was also a factor).

    Longtime baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby remembered a Rangers/Blue Jays game in Toronto that was called for wind in the early 1980s.

    “Frank Tanana originally to start that game in Toronto,” Ringolsby tweeted. “Rader changed to Bibby. Was afraid Tanana would be blown off mound.”

  • Sox notes: Pitcher compensates for altitude disadvantage

    Mon, April 8, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    If any pitcher should struggle at Security Service Field, it should be Tyler Skaggs.

    The Reno lefty and top Arizona prospect’s go-to out-pitch is a big, 12-to-6 curve. When pitching at altitude in Colorado Springs, the break is never going to be as accentuated.

    “The curveball wasn’t as sharp as it usually is,” Skaggs said. “You’ve just got to keep it down, throw it for strikes and got to bury it when you need a strikeout. After the first inning I thought I was throwing it pretty well.”

    That Skaggs was able to compensate so effectively, throwing six shutout innings against a stacked Sky Sox lineup even when it was resting some of its top guns, speaks to an intangible he may possess.

    In the opposite dugout, there wasn’t exactly lofty praise being sung of Skaggs.

    “He didn’t seem all that impressive to me,” Sky Sox manager Glenallen Hill said. “He attacked us and kept the ball on both sides of the plate, forced us to hit his pitch. I think we missed a couple of pitches early.”

     

    No Arenado

    Hill gave third baseman Nolan Arenado the day off, so the anticipated matchup between the Diamondbacks (Skaggs) and Rockies top prospects didn’t happen.

    Arenado held the Pacific Coast League lead with 15 total bases entering Sunday. He is batting .538.

    Shortstop DJ LeMahieu also had the day off, but the Sky Sox didn’t exactly field a mediocre lineup. Arenado’s replacement at third was Ryan Wheeler, one of the top sluggers in Triple-A last year, and Tommy Manzella reached base three times in his start at shortstop.

     

    Bounceback effort

    Kila Ka’aihue broke out of an awful rut when he popped a couple of singles, drew a walk and hit a towering home run about 2/3 of the way up the padding above the 410-foot sign in center field.

    Before that, Ka’aihue had largely struggled in the series out of the cleanup spot. The veteran went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s opener, then put up an ugly 0-for-7 in Saturday’s 15-inning marathon.

     

    Attendance figures

    Nice weather helped the Sky Sox draw 18,414 fans for the four-game series against Reno, an average of 4,603 per game. Last year’s first four home dates brought an average of 3,832 – though that number was actually less on a per-game basis as two were combined into a doubleheader after a snowout and the doubleheader drew just 1,515.

    The Sky Sox averaged 4,915 fans per game last year, a team record. And the are ahead of the pace already.

  • Sox notes: Nothing can help a team bond like 15 innings

    Sun, April 7, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    A 15-inning game in the third game of the season provides the perfect opportunity for a team to bond.

    Even in Triple-A, when the rosters are frequently in flux, that matters.

    With the way the Sky Sox celebrated at the end of their 3-2 marathon victory over Reno, it was clear they were enjoying the moment and each other.

    “I think our team is pretty good in that aspect,” said first baseman Ben Paulsen, who drove in the game-winner with two outs in the 15th. “We have a lot of good guys in the clubhouse and everybody is pretty cool with each other. We kind of gelled right at the end of spring training when everybody knew where they were going. We had all this hype, I guess, with everybody saying we’re a really good team.”

    Immediately after the game, manager Glenallen Hill posted a quotation in the clubhouse from George Bernard Shaw that said: “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.”

    Now, no one is going to confuse a Triple-A victory with changing the world; but as victories at this level go, this one meant something.

     

    Pomeranz great on the mound, not in the batter’s box

    Drew Pomeranz, last year’s No. 1 prospect in the Rockies’ system and the prized piece attained in the trade for Ubaldo Jimenez, continued to impress at Security Service Field.

    After throwing 5 2/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts, one walk and four hits allowed, Pomeranz now has a 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings in the ballpark that is generally decidedly hitter-friendly.

    But manager Glenallen Hill, whose focus never strays from the developmental aspect of the game, didn’t like a key fifth-inning at-bat in which Pomeranz failed to get a bunt down with runners at first and second with nobody out. Pomeranz officially struck out when his third bunt rolled foul. The Sky Sox would have had runners at second and third with one out for the top of the order had Pomeranz converted the sacrifice. Instead, they failed to score in the inning

    “He pitched well, but part of his development is to handle the bat in the big leagues,” Hill said. “I think he was very disappointing in that regard.”

     

    Scary moment

    The most alarming play in Saturday’s game came when Sky Sox second baseman Tommy Manzella took an attempted bunt attempt directly off of his face.

    Manzella was stepping toward an inside pitch and had opened himself up to the pitcher. The ball glanced off the bat and appeared in replays to first hit just above his eye before then hitting and knocking off his helmet.

    Manzella left the game, with Charlie Culberson finishing the seventh-inning at-bat with a groundout to second.

     

    More on the marathon

    A 15-inning game produced plenty of sidebar stories. In this one, both catchers (Lars Davis for Colorado Springs; Tuffy Gosewisch for Reno) went all 15 innings. “He definitely has the day off tomorrow,” Hill said of Davis.

    There’s always at least one player victimized by a horrific batting line, like the 0-for-7 day posted by Reno’s Kila Ka’aihue that included three strikeouts against Pomeranz.

    There was also the issue of hunger, as the game took 4 hours, 16 minutes. Paulsen said the players were snacking throughout and even took a protein bar out to an umpire.

    Colorado Springs had 13 hits, Reno had 12. The teams combined for just six walks and 28 strikeouts and 22 combined runners were left on base (10 for the Aces, who were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position; 12 for the Sky Sox, who were 4-for-13 with RISP).

  • Sox notes: Arenado compared to Longoria

    Sat, April 6, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    Reno manager Brett Butler gushed about Nolan Arenado, the top prospect who has homered in his first two games with the Sky Sox.

    Butler has seen plenty of big prospects come and go after a 17-year big-league career and now serving in his fifth year with the Aces in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

    “When you talk about a guy who you say is a can’t miss, he seems to be that,” Butler said. “He’s got a tremendous approach at the plate, he looks like he can do everything. I’m impressed by him. He can play.”

    Asked what it was, specifically, about Arenado’s approach at the plate, Butler offered a further explanation that included a comparison to Tampa Bay All-Star Evan Longoria.

    “He’s still,” Butler said. “He’s very quiet and you can see the confidence he has at the plate. There are guys that you look at, Longoria was a lot like that at the plate. You can just see the confidence.”

     

    Home run bounces off the mountains

    Arenado’s home run on Friday, a solo shot in the seventh inning, bounced off the mountains atop the Security Service Field scoreboard in left field.

    It was a high, well-struck fly ball that was guided by a strong wind.

    “The wind obviously made it go a little bit farther, but right when I hit it I knew it was out,” Arenado said. “I made sure I ran, I didn’t try to show up the pitcher at all.”

     

    LeMahieu’s play saves the day

    Shortstop DJ LeMahieu, like several of his Sky Sox teammates, went into the offseason with realistic hopes of starting 2013 in the major leagues.

    LeMahieu hit .297 in 81 games for the Rockies last year, but didn’t make the club.

    He said he was sure the defensive plays he’ll make in the Triple-A – most notably a game-changing backhand-and-throw with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth – will be noticed by the organization’s brass. But that’s not why he was excited about the play.

    “No matter where you’re at you want to make plays like that,” LeMahieu said. “I was happy to help the team out right there.”

    LeMahieu added an RBI single and would have had another hit had he not been victimized by a diving play on a line drive by Reno shortstop Chris Owings, who is rated as the best defensive infielder in Arizona’s system by “Baseball America.”

     

    Gotta finish

    The difference between the minors and majors is often finishing, be it an at-bat or an inning. The Sky Sox struggled in that department early on Friday, as Reno batters went 7-f0r-12 in two-out situations over the first five innings.

    Fortunately for Colorado Springs, the damage was limited to single runs in the third and fifth, thanks largely to LeMahieu’s play.

     

    Still not getting along with others

    For those who have closely followed the Sky Sox in recent years, it probably wasn’t a surprise when news broke that Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona was involved in a skirmish with teammate Juan Nicasio in the outfield before Thursday’s game. The players were pulled apart by teammates in full view of fans.

    Escalona, while in Triple-A in Colorado Springs, once had to be physically separated from pitching coach Doug Linton following a game.

  • Sky Sox, Springs Rescue Mission, The Broadmoor and Golf Pro Greg, Inc. team up in charity partnership

    Sat, April 6, 2013 by Brent Briggeman with no comments

    The Sky Sox released the following press release this week regarding a partnership to benefit “at-risk neighbors” that will include an attempt by golf pro Greg Stafford to set a world record for the most golf balls driven over 300 yards in one hour.

    SKY SOX, SPRINGS RESCUE MISSION, GOLF PRO GREG & THE BROADMOOR ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP
     
    World Record Attempt to Benefit Springs Rescue Mission

    The Colorado Springs Sky Sox, along with Springs Rescue Mission, the Broadmoor and Golf Pro Greg, Inc. are pleased to announce a new partnership for the upcoming season that aims to fight homelessness in Colorado Springs through a program called “Drives4Lives”.  Fans can learn more about this initiative on Sunday, April 7, when the Sky Sox will be announcing this partnership on the field prior to that day’s game.
    “Drives4Lives” is a brand new partnership program with a mission to “change the game” for our at-risk neighbors.  The program culminates in an attempt by golf pro Greg Stafford, of Golf Pro Greg Inc., to set a world record for the most amount of golf balls driven over 300 yards in one hour.
    “I am thrilled to have partnered with The Broadmoor and the Sky Sox to bring forth “Drives4Lives” benefitting Springs Rescue Mission,” said Greg Stafford, Founder of Golf Pro Greg, Inc.  “I am blessed to use my God-given golf talents in the “Drives4Lives” campaign to impact lives here in Colorado Springs.”
    Stafford’s pursuit of this world record will take place on Friday, June 28, at the Broadmoor and will be observed by officials from Guinness World Records.  Leading up to the attempt, Sky Sox fans and the Colorado Springs community can log onto www.drives4lives.com to make a pledge for each ball hit over 300 yards.
    The donations from this campaign directly benefits Springs Rescue Mission and their efforts to fight homelessness and substance abuse by feeding, clothing and housing those in need in El Paso County.
    “Springs Rescue Mission is honored and humbled to be the beneficiary of the 2013 “Drives4Lives” community campaign,” said SRM President & CEO Rev. Joe Vazquez. “The dynamic partnership between The Broadmoor, ‘Golf Pro Greg’ Stafford, the Sky Sox and the caring people of our community will have a powerful impact in helping our neighbors in need this summer.”
    In order to help our neighbors and the one out of seven people, including children,  in the county who live under the poverty line, Springs Rescue Mission will be providing a “Springs Rescue Mission Change the Game Collection Spot” during every Sky Sox home game  which will be located at the main front gate.  Fans who want to help change the game for our at-risk neighbors can bring non-perishable food, clothing, or personal items such as soap, toothbrushes and shampoo to the collection area.
    The “Change the Game Collection Spot” is just one of the ways Springs Rescue Mission help support the needy.  Some of the other services they provide are their Food Service Program, Addiction Recovery Program, Family Crisis Center, Family Mentor Alliance, Resource Advocate Program, Support Family Services, and their Box Lunches and Catering service.  The local non-profit has their own on-site executive chef who helps prepare meals for over 100 people a day, which could not happen without the generous support of in-kind donations from the community.
    “The passion and dedication with which Springs Rescue Mission provides services to those most in need in our community on a daily basis is at the very cornerstone of what makes Colorado Springs a great city for everyone,” said Sky Sox President and General Manager Tony Ensor. “The entire Sky Sox organization is proud to work with this great coalition of community partners and support such a tremendous effort to assist individuals and families in need.”   
    Fans who want to take a first hand look at the impact Springs Rescue Mission has on the community can take a tour of their campus which is located at 5 W. Las Vegas St., just east of I-25.  For more information on how to donate or on how to get involved log on to www.drive4lives.com
    For more information please contact Mike Hobson at (719) 597-1449 or through email at prdept@skysox.com.