denver, colorado

Most people have heard of the Mile High City, otherwise known as Denver. Located in the state of Colorado, that is how most people have heard of it. However, they may have never been there. If you don’t go, you really don’t know what you are missing. There are so many things that you can do, and once you have Found the Cheapest Flight, and accommodations, you should definitely plan a trip for at least a week. This is what you will be able to do once you reach Denver CO on your next vacation.

What Is There To Do In The City?

There are quite a few things that you will be able to do when you get to Denver. If you are a fan of going to a zoo, the Denver Zoo is one of the best. It is perfect for people that just like to see animals, and if you have children, this is going to be the perfect place for them to spend a couple of hours. Once you have seen the animals, you might want to go see fish. The Downtown Aquarium is the next place to go. Again, it is the right place to go if you are bringing children with you, however adults will also like this destination.

Landmarks To See

Although you could do fun things like go skiing, hiking, or go for a run in the park, you might want to consider looking at some of the landmarks that have made Denver so popular. There is the famous Union Station and also the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which is a church that Catholics absolutely love. Even if you are not religious, it is a place that you will definitely enjoy because of how well-designed the building is. There is the Molly Brown House Museum which is of historic value. There are other destinations to see. If you are spending at least a week or two, you can fit all of this in, plus plan many other trips as well. You would never like to miss amazing Denver Fashion Show.

The places that you decide to go in Denver should be part of your itinerary. You will want to mix things up, and if you are only there for a week, you will want to plan accordingly. There are always going to be places to go shopping, great places to eat, and sightseeing tours that you will enjoy. The Mile High City is a place that many people will visit multiple times in their life because of all that it has to offer tourists and the general public.

DENVER (AP) — A mammoth marijuana trafficking ring that pretended to be growing weed for sick people was instead illegally shipping the drug to a half-dozen other states and bilking investors, including former NFL players, Colorado officials announced Wednesday.

A Denver grand jury indicted 62 people and 12 businesses in the case that involved federal and state agents executing nearly 150 search warrants at 33 homes and 18 warehouses and storage units in the Denver area.

"The black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state, and in fact continues to flourish," state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in a statement.

The indictment targets the largest illegal marijuana operation discovered since Colorado legalized recreational pot in 2012, Coffman said.

It says the enterprise produced more than 100 pounds of illegal pot each month for shipment to Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and other states.

The ring operated from 2012 until 2016 and raked in an estimated $200,000 a month, Coffman said.

The defendants were charged with 31 felony counts of money-laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes. Most are now under arrest awaiting trial dates in Denver District Court.

Prosecutors say that one of the conspirators, Connor Brooks, duped friends, including two former pro football players, into investing in his scheme.

Brooks got money from Erik Pears, a free agent most recently with the San Francisco 49ers, and Joel Dreessen, a former Denver Broncos tight end, the indictment says.

Neither football player is accused of a crime, and the indictment does not say how much the two invested in what they thought was a legal marijuana business. Other investors gave money, too, the indictment said.

"These individuals each provided tens of thousands of dollars to Connor Brooks to fund an allegedly legal grow operation, and they did not receive any of their invested funds back from Connor Brooks as promised," the indictment said.

It was not immediately clear if Brooks or any other defendants had an attorney.

In addition to growing black-market pot in private homes, the indictment says, some defendants ran phony marijuana consulting businesses or leasing agencies.

Some held partial ownership in a suburban Denver store that sells marijuana growing supplies, which the indictment says allowed them to have ready access to nutrients, pesticides and other supplies. The name of that store was not listed.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the Kansas State Patrol and Nebraska State Patrol, participated in the investigation.

"Since 2014 there has been an influx of these organized criminal groups to Colorado for the sole purpose of producing marijuana to sell in other states," said Barbra Roach, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Denver Field Division.

In a statement, Roach said "the marijuana black market has increased exponentially since state legalization."

The indictment was returned June 9 and announced Wednesday by Coffman.

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Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt

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Photo provided by the family of Cristina Rodriguez-Sagarnaga

Immigration authorities deported a Colorado woman who has lived in the United States since she was 5-years-old and has three U.S. citizen daughters, after she arrived for a scheduled check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents last week.

ICE agents arrested Cristina Rodriguez-Sagarnaga, 30, a Mexican national, on Wednesday, at the regional ICE field office in Centennial. She was removed to Mexico on Friday, said Carl Rusnok, ICE spokesman.

She had requested a stay of removal to stop her deportation order while she waited for a response on her mother’s request for a U-Visa, said Jennifer Piper, the American Friends Service Committee, which advocates for people living here illegally. Victims of crime and their immediate family members who have suffered substantial abuse, are eligible for the visas.

Both women have been domestic violence victims, Piper said.

Rodriguez-Sagarnaga entered the country illegally, Rusnok said Sunday. In 2012, a federal immigration judge in Denver granted her voluntary departure to Mexico, and when she failed to leave, the judge’s order became a final order of removal.

ICE granted her a one-year stay of removal on June 20, 2016. She requested another stay, which ICE denied on Tuesday, without informing her lawyer, Piper said.

ICE is detaining undocumented immigrants when they come for routine check-ins, Piper said. “When you have final orders, and a check-in, there’s no good options.”

Rodriguez-Sagarnaga went to the check-in to show good faith, she added. “She said, I don’t want to hide, I don’t want to take my daughters into hiding. This is the only country I know.”

She has three misdemeanor criminal convictions in Colorado, Rusnok said.

“She and her ex-husband had a son together, and she was calling police to report abuse of her son and they didn’t respond,” Piper said. “The next time she called, she said he was beating her.”

That call led to her being charged for false reporting, Piper said.

“She agreed to a plea in that case, even though it was weak,” Piper said.

Rodriguez-Sagarnaga is now in Juarez with an aunt. Her family has created a gofundme page to help support her children.

“I want to see my mom,” her 4-year-old daughter, Dariana, wrote in a message sent to President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly.

“Yesterday, my dad came home in his truck and I ran to the window to see if he brought my mama, but he couldn’t. I don’t sleep because I miss mama. I love her. I belong to her and my papa and we need her.”

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Southern Concepts Restaurant Group Inc., which once planned up to 40 restaurants nationwide under the Southern Hospitality, Bourbon Brothers and Carve Barbecue names, closed its last three restaurants in the Denver area Monday, effectively shutting down the Colorado Springs-based chain.

The company turned over its Colorado Springs location in April to the landlord, a limited liability company headed by Southern Concepts founder J.W. Roth, who converted the Northgate area eatery back to the Bourbon Brothers Southern Kitchen concept under which it had previously operated before switching to the Southern Hospitality Restaurant and Bar concept.

Roth said he had reduced the rent on the 8,000-square-foot restaurant in October, but Southern Concepts wasn’t able to generate enough income from its restaurant to and owed $114,000 in unpaid rent.

"I hated to do it, but I had to evict them and convert it back to Bourbon Brothers because I own all the trademarks to that name and concept. It is doing great; it started to make a profit in the first week and has been profitable ever since," said Roth, who also is a major shareholder in Southern Concepts and its largest creditor. "It seems to me that they will just go out of business. It is too bad that it came to this. I am sick about it. But it is another day and we move on from here. At the end of the day, I ended up with a winner of a restaurant."

Southern Concepts CEO Jim Fenlason said Thursday the company "couldn’t put together the capital and didn’t have the sales to continue" operating the Denver restaurants. An eviction notice had been posted on the company’s lower downtown Denver location alleging Southern Concepts was delinquent on $181,000 in rent, but Fenlason said the company has surrendered all of the Denver locations to the landlords. He said a lawsuit by Shamrock Foods alleging the company owed $50,000 has been withdrawn and company officials are working on a plan to deal with remaining debts.

The closings come less than a month after Southern Concepts shareholders overwhelmingly rejected plans to sell all three restaurants, two of them to a company controlled by Fenlason, in exchange for a 10 percent cut of future profits, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fenlason said last month that Southern Concepts hadn’t received any other offers for its two Southern Hospitality locations and that the proposed deal with his company would have required further negotiation.

Fenlason, who had been non-executive chairman of Southern Concepts, became the company’s CEO and chief financial officer in August after the resignation of Mitchell Roth, son of J.W. Roth, as CEO and Heather Atkinson as chief financial officer. He immediately launched a restructuring to save $400,000 a year in management expenses also by terminating the company’s chief operating officer, allowing the company to "allocate more resources to marketing and concept development," according to a Southern Concepts news release issued weeks after he became CEO.

Southern Concepts was hemorrhaging cash at the time Fenlason became CEO, according to the last financial report the company filed with the SEC for the first nine months of last year. The company lost $2.77 million, or 4 cents a share, on revenue of $5.57 million, a slight improvement from losing $2.86 million, or 5 cents a share, on revenue of $4.79 million during the same period a year earlier. However, the company cash dwindled from $1.11 million to $65,822 during the same period while it owed nearly $450,000 in accounts payable and accrued expenses.

Just 2½ years earlier, company officials had opened the Colorado Springs restaurant as Bourbon Brothers near the Bass Pro Shops store in the Polaris Pointe retail development and said they were planning to develop 40 more around the nation during the next five years, including a downtown Colorado Springs location. The company merged with the operators of a Southern Hospitality locations in lower downtown Denver and later opened a location in Lone Tree and a Carve Barbecue location in Glendale but Fenlason said all three locations were losing money when his company agreed to buy them.

The first Southern Hospitality restaurant opened in New York in 2007 with backing from actor and musician Justin Timberlake and still remains open under separate ownership. The Denver location opened in 2012 with backing from Ryan Tedder, singer for Colorado band OneRepublic, and his father, Gary Tedder.

"I was asked to come in, look around and see what I could do to impact the restaurants. I looked for ways to cut costs and found something we could do," Fenlason said last month. "The cost of real estate has made it difficult to expand and add restaurants. That certainly made a difference."

Roth had loaned Southern Concepts $1.25 million in October, by extending and expanding a loan with a Denver company, to keep the company afloat but says he will now write off the loan rather than accept a deal that would convert the debt to stock that currently trades at less than 1 cent a share.

"Two and half years ago, I thought this was the greatest thing and made an investment. I loved the management team and the concept. I didn’t have the time to spend on the company, so I didn’t run for re-election to the board, so I have watched from the outside as an investor and largest creditor," J.W. Roth said. "Two things hurt the company. The real estate market made it hard to lease good real estate at a rate that would allow you to make a profit. Also, the celebrities that were promoted to the face of the restaurant and help drive sales, we never saw them."

Roth said he doesn’t blame Fenlason for Southern Concepts’ collapse, though he opposed his bid to buy the restaurants without putting all three up for bid.

"It seems like he tried to wind it down the best he could and he has been honorable in the way he handled us."

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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A Colorado group is looking to curb the sales of cellphones to children under 13 years old and officials in the state have cleared the language for a proposed ballot measure. (AP)

Parents Against Underage Smartphones, the backers of the move, would now need about 300,000 voter signatures for the legislation to make the 2018 ballot.

The ban would require cellphone retailers to ask customers about the age of the primary user of a smartphone and submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue on adhering to the requirement.

Retailers who sell a phone for use by a pre-teen would get a warning for the first offense, but may face fines from $500 to $20,000 for continued violations, according to KDVR-TV.

"Eventually kids are going to get phones and join the world, and I think we all know that, but little children, there’s just no good that comes from that," Dr. Tim Farnum, who is leading the movement, told The Coloradoan on Saturday.

Farnum said he was inspired to make the push after watching his own kids struggle with the psychological effects of always having a device in hand.

"They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were," he said.

Democratic state Sen. John Kefalas said he understands the reasoning behind the proposed law. But he told the newspaper that it would overstep the government’s role.

"Frankly, I think it should remain a family matter," he said. "Ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk."

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines for children’s media use, including smartphones.

The doctors recommended restricting screen time to no more than an hour a day of high-quality programming until age 6, after which parents should set consistent time limits and make sure electronic devices don’t take time away from sleep or physical activity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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While the NBA playoffs are still going, the 2017 off–season is rapidly approaching for many teams with massive decisions to make. CBA expert Danny Leroux breaks down the major challenges and opportunities for the Denver Nuggets in The Crossover’s NBA Summer Preview series.

After finishing nine games under .500 in 2015-16, the Nuggets competed for a playoff spot until the final week of the season. Nikola Jokic broke out and Denver became one of the league’s best offenses after making him the only center in the starting five. Their uncommon depth for a young team allowed the Nuggets to withstand injuries to numerous key players but those contributors are getting closer to their inevitable pay raises. A combination of players on team-friendly rookie scale contracts and low-cost veterans puts Denver in the unusual position to add serious talent to an already capable team, making their summer one of the more compelling and impactful in the entire NBA.

Here are three key storylines to watch for the Nuggets this off-season:

Cap Space: With the news that Danilo Gallinari will decline his $16.1 million player option for next season, the Nuggets are looking at serious spending power this summer. They could either retain Gallinari using Bird rights or wield more than $37 million in space, enough to become a true force on the free agent market. They could concentrate that spending on a single player, spread it out for a few different contributors or spend responsibly this summer and use that flexibility at a later point. Considering how quickly things move in early July, the front office will have to establish a plan ahead of time while staying ready to adjust to changing circumstances.

Mason Plumlee’s restricted free agency: The Nuggets did not trade Jusuf Nurkic and Memphis’ first round pick for a rental. Plumlee is already 27 years old but has been a starter on successful teams in Portland and could draw interest as a capable center. Denver’s ability to match and an oversaturated market for big men could drive down his price but it only takes one team to force a much tougher decision for the Nuggets’ front office.

Gary Harris extension: The 22-year old shooting guard could end up being a calibrator for how the Nuggets are approaching their 2018 off-season because he has a low cap hold ($7.65 million), so agreeing to an extension now will presumably reduce Denver’s 2018 cap space. That could be worth doing for the right terms or because they do not intend to be below the cap next summer. Also, an extension would solidify Harris’ place in the Nuggets’ core moving forward, which would be notable considering their investment at shooting guard with Will Barton, Malik Beasley and arguably Jamal Murray.

• NBA Off-Season Preview: How Can Cleveland Get On Equal Footing With Golden State?

Potential Free Agents: Danilo Gallinari (Unrestricted – will decline $16.1m Player Option), Mason Plumlee (Restricted), Mike Miller (Non-Guaranteed) and Roy Hibbert (Unrestricted)

Likely Summer of 2017 Cap Space: $14.8 million

Realistic Maximum Summer of 2017 Cap Space (using $101M estimate): $43.2 million

2017 Draft Assets: Own first round pick (13th overall) plus second round selections from Memphis (#49) and Oklahoma City (#51).

Potential Targets: Paul Millsap would be an amazing near-term fit with Jokic but the 32-year old does not exactly mesh with Denver’s young core from a timetable perspective. They could try to get in the mix for Gordon Hayward as well, though he has strong suitors in the Jazz and Celtics. Amazingly, the front office could even choose to simply push back all or most of their cap space for another year because they could have similar flexibility next summer and possibly even more if Wilson Chandler and/or Darrell Arthur decline their 2018-19 player options. They could also try to use some cap space this summer to secure eventual replacements for Chandler, Barton and Arthur now but there will not be many bargains for perimeter players given the limited supply.

Pressure Scale: 7. It is hard to put a single number for Denver because they have so many different paths to choose from. If they push for the near term by either bringing back Gallinari or adding a high-priced free agent, they need to nail their draft pick and ancillary moves to maximize this window. A more patient approach still requires thought-out, responsible moves but provides insulation in place of urgency. What makes the Nuggets’ off-season important are the stakes. They have a young team with serious talent, so the decisions they make matter more than for franchises stuck in the mud. The last decade is filled with young teams that did not reach their potential due to front office mistakes for a reason: the best decisions for the future are often unpopular at the time and justified excitement can generate undue pressure. Denver’s front office succeeded over the past few years when so many of their competitors failed but potential can be even more perilous than the rebuilding process.

State of the Franchise: Defining their identity. Last summer, the Jazz were the NBA’s most intriguing young team that missed the playoffs and Denver has taken over that mantle. That said, their situation differs from Utah’s because they have less elite talent at this stage but also possess more flexibility and time. The Nuggets can wait, as Murray, Mudiay and Hernangomez are not even extension eligible at this point. That means the front office should be ambitious with potential additions while also steeling themselves for the possibility of bringing back a largely similar roster next season and relying on internal improvement. At the same time, they need to figure out how veterans like Chandler, Arthur and Barton fit in, as each would net value in return considering what free agents will be looking for on the open market. While the Nuggets do not have to fully commit to their vision of their future this off-season, doing so would produce tangible benefits as soon as draft night if they decide to act immediately. Seeing how Denver identifies their core and chooses to build around it will be a consistent source of interest this summer.

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An off-road racer’s pre-runner truck is a tool for making sure that the course to be tackled is first thoroughly investigated. You want your co-driver to know where the bumps, ruts, and other pitfalls are. This way when you’re blasting across the desert at 100 mph in the dark of night, you have an idea of what’s in front of you. It makes sense, then, that sometimes people can go a little overboard when building their pre-runners.

Say hello to one such build. This is no longer a stock Chevrolet Colorado, though it started life that way. Instead, it’s been transformed by Roadster Shop of Illinois into the "ColoRADo." It lives up to its name based on a quick glance alone, but backs up all of that style when you dive into the spec sheet and watch all the fabrication that was done in the video above.

CHECK OUT: 2019 Ford Ranger spy shots

The customized body plays host to a wealth of parts that should help this truck power through pretty much anything. And power through it shall thanks to the 730-horsepower LS7 V-8 sitting toward the rear of the engine compartment. A set of Fox racing shocks work with custom suspension components crafted by the tuning shop to give this ColoRADo a massive 22 inches of travel in the front and 27 inches in the rear. That’s all made possible by a completely new frame that the shop also fabricated.

From the aluminum bodywork to the massive engine and on to the incredible suspension, we’re both in awe and terrified. We’re in awe of the capability this truck has on tap. We terrified of the tab for the final build cost.

And no, your new Colorado ZR2 can’t do what this truck can.

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Colorado event planning done right. There are several different companies who offer this type of service but we all know that they are not all created the same. Some will do a very good job in some will not. That is just the truth in business in the truth for industries of all kinds. You typically have companies who aren’t really good, those who are pretty average and those who are really good. It is often the case, that people are looking for companies who are really good and they want us companies at a good value.

Determining a good value for a Colorado event planning company can be very subjective. Some people foolishly only pay attention to price and price alone. Sometimes on price alone is the only metric that they look at the end that with the cheap company, the bad reputation and who cannot pull off their event properly. So the end up with something that actually do not want. But if they take the time to find a quality company, they will get exactly what they’re looking for. Good value as in a quality company at a very good price. One who does have a very good reputation in the industry and who is recommended by other people who have put on similar events. So ultimately finding a valuable company at a good price should be the objective.

Someone looking for this type company, don’t be just concerned with price but be concerned with performance and experience as well. Because it is making the combination of all of these things that you forget what you truly want. When price is the only metric you just get a cheap price and not necessarily a good service. So finding this type of company should be your priority.

Crash on WB C470 at US285

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Emergency crews responded to a fatal motorcycle crash on westbound C470 near US 285 late Saturday afternoon.

The Colorado State Patrol said C470 westbound was closed at Quincy during the investigation.

Investigators said the motorcycle hit the guardrail and crashed. The female rider was killed.

There were lengthy delays in that area and drivers needed to find alternate routes in the southwest part of the metro area.

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Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) Colorado Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds (12) and Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) laugh in the dugout before their game against the Cleveland Indians on June 7, 2017 in Denver at Coors Field.

Is this how it happens? And did anyone see it coming? In the 25th season of the Rockies’ existence, at 3:44 on a warm, spring afternoon, a Colorado native walked from the mound at Coors Field toward the dugout, and Denver became a real baseball town.

“I got chills from that standing ovation,” Kyle Freeland said Wednesday.

Me, too. As Freeland received a standing ovation from the crowd of 36,909, I looked at my arms.

Total goose bumps.

I’ve been waiting for a quarter century, longer than Freeland has been alive, for Denver to take its baseball seriously, to live and die with the Rockies on an afternoon game in the middle of the week, the same way Broncomaniacs give their heart to the local NFL team 24/7.

Real baseball passion does not become part of the civic fabric overnight. But what happened when Freeland departed the mound after a fine outing that propelled Colorado to a 8-1 victory against Cleveland was organic and genuine and strong. It was a crashing tsunami of sound.

“It just built. … As I started walking to the dugout, it got louder and louder and louder,” said Feeland, letting the noise of the standing ovation wash over him. “It was almost to the point to where you couldn’t really think. And that’s when I got the chills.”

In the visitors’ clubhouse before the game, Cleveland manager Terry Francona was asked his impression of baseball in the rarefied air of 5,280 feet above sea level. Mind you, he has been here before, winning a championship as the skipper for Boston in 2007, when there was an unfriendly takeover of LoDo by those wicked passionate fans of the Red Sox.

But contemplating the challenge of playing every day at Coors, Francona dropped his head in his hand, and simply said this: “Yikes!”

Colorado pummeled the defending American League champions, with the Rockies beating Cleveland by the aggregate score of 19-4 to win their 14th series of the young season. After the second loss, Francona was asked to evaluate our gritty little ballclub, and his response was as grumpy as a bear awaken from a long nap by a bee sting.

Yes, our cuddly little ballclub is all grown up, and is a real pain in the rear. Playing the Rockies can put anybody in a foul mood, whether the foe happens to be the Indians or the Dodgers or the Cubs.

“What are they going to do, just pass on the series? They’ve got to play here,” outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. “When you lose two games by a lot of runs, they’re going to be frustrated.

At 20th and Blake, baseball has always been more about the Dippin’ Dots and the sunshine, rather than the beauty found in the sweet subtleties of a double switch. Since those giddy old days of Rocktober, when the whole town was jumping on the bandwagon, the loudest noise made by local fans has often been an attempt to drown out the embarrassment of refugees from Midwest winters chanting: “Let’s go, Cubs!”

It bugged me. Heck, it has irked Colorado players. “You’ve seen how it is when we play the Cubs here. You get that feeling like, ‘What the hell?’ It’s messed up,” Gonzalez told me.

But could the Rockies of 2017 be good enough to capture the imagination and the attention of a Broncos town from now until October? If there’s a real baseball vibe in a ballpark, a real appreciation for the six hits Freeland scattered against the Indians, it makes a difference.

“It definitely gives you that little boost, especially when you get to that grind of July and August,” said Colorado first baseman Mark Reynolds, who has played in Baltimore and Chicago, where baseball has really mattered for generations.

As a legitimate World Series contender, are the Rockies for real? You tell me.

But this is what Gonzalez said: “They better start taking us seriously.”

There’s no arguing with Colorado’s 38-23 record, the first time the team has been 15 games over .500 since September 2010. Third baseman Nolan Arenado does something nearly every day that makes you, me and Todd Helton wonder if we’re all witnesses to the first Hall of Famer to wear purple pinstripes. But can the rookie quartet of Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez and Freeland possibly be as good as their aggregate 22 victories and 3.61 earned-run average suggest? Or is it just a dream? Nobody knows for certain.

But this much I do know. As Freeland walked off the mound, as the crowd stood as one and the noise of a spontaneous standing ovation swept through across Coors Field, it all seemed as real as the goose bumps on the back of a young pitcher’s neck.

After 25 years, Denver finally feels like a town where baseball really matters.

Yikes.

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