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Brad Eldred shines in debut with Rockies

By: DAVID RAMSEY
July 7, 2010
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photo - Chris Nelson was called up from the Sky Sox to the Rockies Wednesday. Nelson had three hits in Colorado's 8-7 ninth inning win over the Cardinals. Photo by BRYAN OLLER, THE GAZETTE
Chris Nelson was called up from the Sky Sox to the Rockies Wednesday. Nelson had three hits in Colorado's 8-7 ninth inning win over the Cardinals. Photo by BRYAN OLLER, THE GAZETTE 

A frantic day ended in a sweet night for Brad Eldred.

Eldred woke up Wednesday in Fresno, Calif., as a member of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

Eight hours and over a 1,000 miles away in Denver, Eldred scored three runs in the Colorado Rockies' 8-7, come-from-behind victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

At 9:30 a.m., Eldred received a call. The Rockies wanted him to fly to Denver to play that night in place of first baseman Todd Helton, who had been placed on the disabled list.

Eldred rushed to the Fresno airport, where he barely made a flight to Los Angeles.

From there, he landed at Denver International Airport at 4:45 p.m. less than 2 hours before the Rockies game started. His wife, Cindy, who had traveled from their apartment in Colorado Springs, picked him up and the family car made a fast trip down I-70 to Coors Field.

The couple encountered little traffic, and a frazzled Eldred stepped out of the car at 5:30 p.m.

“You don’t know what to expect, just showing up,” he said. “First at-bat I struck out, but I got that out of the way. Then, I just settled in and went to playing baseball, keeping it simple.”

Eldred collected three hits, including a double over Matt Holliday’s head in left field in the eighth inning that started a Rockies rally that tied the game at 7.

When the game ended - on Chris Iannetta's walkoff home run in the ninth - Eldred boasted a .750 batting average for his one-game season.

 “Hey,” he said, “that’s pretty good. It would be nice to keep that all year.”

 

 

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