Denver has four pro sports teams - the Rockies, the Broncos, the Nuggets, and the Avalanche.
John Elway is the Broncos' Vice President/General Manager and the city's greatest athlete. When Elway led Denver to Super Bowl XXXII I invited all my friends over to watch the game. They were all neutral fans so they wanted to see Elway finally win one. I was a huge Packer backer, and after the game ended I was so disappointed that they lost (and upset that my friends were all celebrating) I stormed off to my room. Not sure what hurt more at the time, but it annoys the hell out of me that poor old John Elway has three rings and Brett Favre only has one.
I never liked Elway, even before that Super Bowl, but I have to admit he's got some cool cards. Playoff X's and O's are one of my favorite insert sets of the 1990's. I bought a lot of Prime boxes from K-Mart to chase those.
Is it me, or does it seem like the Broncos could just plug in anyone at running back and watch him gain 1,000 yards? I don't think it's me. Fourteen different Broncos backs have had 1,000-yard rushing seasons. I have ten of them in my collection.
Terrell Davis wasn't any old back; he rushed for over 2,000 yards in his MVP season of 1998 and won two Super Bowl rings. Injuries limited "TD" to just four full seasons, nevertheless he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year.
Some strong safeties here. Brian Dawkins is part of this year's Hall of Fame class. Steve Atwater and John Lynch could soon follow him to Canton.
The rest of my Broncos hits. Like Elway, Peyton Manning finished his incredible career on top. I didn't like Shannon Sharpe as much as his brother Sterling, but his trash talk was legendary.
It also gave Patrick Roy four Stanley Cup rings and a head-to-head victory over Martin Brodeur, who "only" has three Cups. I liked Roy a lot more when he was in Montreal.
Let's get the rest of the inserts out of the way so that I can show you my all-time favorite Av...
Chris Drury won a Little League World Series, an NCAA hockey championship, and a Stanley Cup. My family and I pulled both the John-Michael Liles base auto and gold parallel #d/10 out of 2005-06 Be A Player. Of all the one-auto-per-pack BAP issues, this was my favorite. Black Diamond Game Gear was the first set I saw that contained pieces of goalie pads.
Nathan MacKinnon is a top contender for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. If history is any indication, he'll beat my guy (Taylor Hall) and win. I'm really starting to dislike Denver...
...then again they've got some solid Connecticut connections, besides Chris Drury.
Here's a small sampling of my Peter Worrell super collection. Pete was a fan favorite in New Haven, when he played two years with the AHL's Beast. After his one season with the Avs, the NHL phased out fourth-line enforcers and Worrell's career was essentially over. Because he's not a big star and only has about 130 NHL cards I surmised that I'd have a much better chance of completing his card run than any of my other favorites like Favre or Brodeur.
The Colorado Rockies had a minor-league affiliate in New Haven for over a decade, starting in 1994. A good chunk of my early Rockies cards are former Ravens, such as slugger Derrick Gibson.
Gibson ended his career in pro ball with another New Haven franchise, the independent (and short-lived) Cutters. I recently told Rockies fan Rosenort of the blog Condition Sensitive that I had more cards of Gibson than Nolan Arenado. Didn't know just how true that was until now...
For the record, it's 11-2 Gibson - and that's after I bought the 2018 Topps Arenado at the card show.
You may have heard of this former Raven..
Todd Helton was Colorado's first home-grown superstar, and the first Rockie to have his number retired by the team. I absolutely would have wanted him to with the 2007 World Series - if his Rox weren't facing my Sox. He'll be on next year's Hall of Fame ballot; I wonder if he'll fare better than Larry Walker.
I had a Helton bat relic but I traded it to another Rockies blogger, Adam K. of Infield Fly Rule. Thus, the Tulo patch is the only thing resembling a "hit" in my Rox collection. I'm pessimistic about Walker's HOF chances, though some day the Hall voters will have to get over themselves and enshrine a Rockie.
Actually, there is one former Rockies player in the Hall of Fame...
the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile the Denver Nuggets have had a handful of HOFers, including Dikembe Mutombo.
I'll never forget that 1994 first-round series when the 8th-seeded Nuggets shocked the top-seeded Sonics.
I think of Carmelo Anthony more as a Knick than a Nugget, but he had some sensational seasons in the Mile High city. I honestly didn't know Melo led the Nuggets to a Conference finals appearance in 2009. For a guy with an NCAA championship and three Olympic gold medals, I still get this impression that most basketball people don't think he's a winner.
Alex English was nearing the end of his fantastic career when I started collecting basketball cards. I don't think I ever saw him play, but his scoring stats were mind-boggling to me as a ten year-old. And that colorful cityscape jersey was fantastic.
Here's another look at it because it is awesome and this post isn't long enough:
The rest of my notable Nuggets:
I almost bought an Immaculate Kenneth Faried card on COMC but cheaped out for some dumb reason. The McDyess Black Diamond is my favorite here. Don't Google Evan Fournier. He said not to ...so I didn't.
Rockies card I'd like to own: A Todd Helton auto, or more affordably a 2002 Topps Pristine refractor.
Broncos card I'd like to own: Ten year-old me really wants a Jake Butt card. Huh huh.
Nuggets card I'd like to own: An early 90's logo card. Or an Allen Iverson card. Or that Immaculate Faried I should have bought for 85 cents when I had the chance.
Avalanche card I'd like to own: Believe it or not, I'm missing the pewter Peter Worrell autograph parallel to complete the Auto-facts rainbow. It's #d to 10 and I doubt I'll ever find one.
Favorite Rockies player: Nolan Arenado or Carlos Gonzalez
Favorite Broncos player: Von Miller
Favorite Nuggets player: Don't have one yet. I hadn't even heard of Gary Harris until about a month ago.
Favorite Avalanche player: It might be MacKinnon. But that doesn't mean I want him to win the MVP.
Next tour stop: Detroit
Thanks for reading this very long post. Have a great weekend!