EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, I’m not talking about the holidays. Every major American sport is in season right now, but there’s nothing quite like postseason baseball in October (even though this year’s World Series is one of my least favorite matchups, Phillies vs. Astros.)

I’m fortunate to have been able to attend NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL playoff games in my lifetime. I’ve even experienced the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and college football bowl games as a fan as well. All of these events are unique experiences, but I’m here to tell you when it comes to attending playoff or postseason games, the atmosphere postseason baseball generates is unmatched.

The best way to describe MLB’s regular season is a marathon. The season spans half the year and 162 games. The dog days of summer on a baseball diamond all begin to blend together, which is typically why fans begin to lose interest in August when NFL training camps open, especially if your team has fallen out of the race. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a team clinch a spot in the postseason, everything changes in October.

Every out, every hit, every run is magnified during the postseason, which is what makes for incredible atmospheres, regardless of the team or stadium. Think about it, eight months of baseball all comes down to the month of October, and if fans aren’t on the edge of their seats during a playoff game, they’re standing, hanging on every pitch.

Tears of joy from my buddy Mitch following the Rockies’ pennant win in 2007 at Coors Field

My personal experience comes as a Colorado Rockies fan (I know, I don’t have much experience, but I do have 2007.) The Rockies haven’t exactly had a rich baseball tradition since their inaugural year in 1993, but they’ll always have one of the most improbable runs in MLB history (even if they fell flat on their face against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.) This team was 76-72 on September 16, on the outside looking in at the postseason. The Rockies won 14 of their final 15 regular season games to force a one-game playoff against the San Diego Padres for the wild card berth.

As a die-hard fan who attended at least 25 games every summer at Coors Field, you better believe I was there for game No. 163. It was not only my first taste of postseason baseball, but it was also Denver’s first taste. Lower Downtown — or LoDo as they call it — was electric. Restaurants and bars were packed, and everyone was looking for a ticket. You knew it wasn’t an ordinary regular season game the moment you walked into the ballpark and found a rally towel draped over your seatback.

Denver has always been a football town, but it proved to be a baseball town as well during their run to the World Series in 2007

The Rockies went on to win this game 9-8 in 13 innings, scoring three runs in the bottom of the 13th inning to capture a wild card berth in the National League. Colorado would sweep the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series (NLDS), followed by a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Fans nicknamed their improbable run in October (winning 21 of their last 22 games heading into the World Series,) as “Rocktober.” Game No. 163 made such an impression on me, I decided to spend what little money I had as a college student on every game I could find tickets for. That included a 14-hour road trip to Phoenix and back for Game 2 of the NLCS, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as a baseball fan.

Behind enemy lines for Game 2 of the NLCS in Phoenix (2007)
Rockies fans unite outside of Chase Field after their Game 2 win over the Diamondbacks (2007)

Colorado would qualify for the playoffs again in 2017 (an 11-8 loss in the National League Wild Card Game to the Diamondbacks that I attended with my future wife in Phoenix) and 2018 (a 3-0 Brewers sweep in the NLDS that I had tickets to Game 4 for.) They have since sold their soul (along with Nolan Arenado) and could quite possibly be one of the worst franchises in baseball right now. I hope, (heck, sometimes I even pray) I get to go back to the postseason one day, but it’s not something I’m counting on happening anytime soon.

The moment my future wife realized I cared far too much about sports (2017)

For a sport that can lull you to sleep during the summer, but provides that type of electricity come playoffs, it’s an experience that’s hard to describe or even put in words (I did my best in this blog entry, but I didn’t hardly do it justice.) My suggestion to all baseball fans is this, if your team is lucky enough to make the playoffs, go see a game in-person. It’ll turn into an expensive month, but it’s a decision you won’t regret.

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