COLORADO SPRINGS – The Colorado Springs Sky Sox played their final two games of the season Monday falling just short of the postseason by losing both games of a doubleheader to division rivals Oklahoma City.
The team has called Colorado Springs home since 1988 when they relocated here from Hawaii. Next season, they will be named the San Antonio Missions.
Meanwhile, the rookie league Helena Brewers will replace the Sky Sox here in Colorado Springs. Baseball fans at Security Service Stadium said they are disappointed to see their team leave, but they are also anxious to see how the new team will perform.
“Always bittersweet to say goodbye to a Triple-A affiliate here in Colorado Springs,” said season ticket holder Carol Tennermann.
“It sucks to see them go, but somebody new will come in next year and we’ll come to see them next year,” added Sky Sox fan Mike D’Innocenzo.
The change isn’t a surprise. Team owners the Elmore Sports Group announced the move two years ago. However, the switch to the rookie league will mean a new look and a new style of baseball. The season will be noticeably shorter, lasting roughly 12 weeks from mid-June to early September.
“You know what, that means better weather,” said Tennermann. “June, July August, I’m okay with it either way.”
It also brings a different style of playing baseball.
“It’s still professional baseball, they’re professional players, but they’re at an entirely different level,” explained season ticket holder Bob Falcone. “They’re raw, they’re right out of college and high school, so it’s exciting.”
The shorter season is the biggest disappointment to Falcone. He’s bought season tickets here more than 20 years and formed close friendships with the other season ticket holders who own sit near him. Falcone plans to buy season tickets again next year and said all of his friends are planning to do the same.
“If you’re a fan of baseball and not just tied to a specific team, this is still going to be a great place to come next year,” he said.
Falcone isn’t the only one who sees it that way. D’Innocenzo expects the rookies to really show off their skills.
“With new guys coming in, they’re really wanting to play, they want a shot at getting moved up so, it might be more interesting baseball.”
The Helena Brewers will change their name before the start of the 2019 season. The team held an online naming contest earlier this summer and the finalists included the Happy Campers, the Lamb Chops, the Punchy Pikas, the Throttle Jockeys and the Rocky Mountain Oysters. The new name will be announced during the off-season.