Rockies pay visit to Aurora shooting survivors
Tracy, 12 players spend off-day at U. of Colorado Hospital
The Rockies didn't arrive in Denver until the wee hours of the morning following their game in Phoenix on Wednesday night. That didn't stop them from spending their Thursday afternoon with victims of last Friday's theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.
According to a report in The Denver Post, 12 members of the team joined manager Jim Tracy at University of Colorado Hospital, where they visited five patients, including four in critical condition. The team also spent time with emergency room doctors and nurses and signed a baseball for a 12-year-old boy whose brother remains hospitalized.
"Getting in at 3 in the morning and coming in on our off day? That can't even come close to what's going on here," Michael Cuddyer told The Post. "There wasn't even a thought not to come. To be able to brighten somebody's day, even if we are with them for just five minutes, is huge."
Despite the hours, Tracy said there were no shortage of volunteers, but that the team only could bring a limited number of players into the intensive care unit.
"I think this shows you what kind of character these guys on our team have and how much they care about the community," Tracy said.
Besides Tracy and Cuddyer, other Rockies in attendance were Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers, Mike Ekstrom, Christian Friedrich, Todd Helton, Adam Ottavino, Jordan Pacheco, Drew Pomeranz, Josh Roenicke, Josh Rutledge and Eric Young Jr.
"It was pretty eye-opening," Belisle said. "You hear about it, and then you go see the wounds. The areas where these people took these hits. Each family we were able to talk to, that's where it really hit home. It was sad. Sad that that stuff's out there. It teaches you humility and perspective. I was glad to be there for them. It meant a lot that they were fans of us and wanted us to come. It was a good day."
One of the patients they visited in the ICU was 22-year-old Farrah Soudani. Her boyfriend, Mike White, also was shot in the attack but was released from the hospital two days ago and told The Post that the team's visit made a big impact on Soudani.
"It brought tears to her eyes," White said. "They cheered her up. They told her to stay strong."
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.