The transition to Rookie-level baseball in Colorado Springs has yielded a notable benefit, with the Rocky Mountain Vibes (Rookie; Pioneer League) playing their schedule thus far in favorable weather conditions.
Prior to this season, Elmore Sports Group completed a series of franchise relocations that ended a tradition of Triple-A baseball in Colorado Springs. As part of those moves, the former Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) relocated to San Antonio and were replaced in Colorado Springs by the former Helena Brewers, who rebranded upon their move to become the Rocky Mountain Vibes.
In lead-up this season, it had been noted that one of the potential benefits of having Rookie-level baseball in Colorado Springs was that the schedule would be played amidst more favorable weather conditions than a full-season schedule. While cold weather over the early months of the season often forced Sky Sox games to be postponed or played in unfavorable conditions, the Vibes have largely managed to avoid postponements. It should be noted that Monday’s game was postponed–marking the Vibes’ first postponement this season–but the favorable conditions thus far have yielded notable benefits from the Vibes, according to general manager Chris Phillips. More from the Colorado Springs Gazette:
This year, a major snowstorm hit the Pikes Peak region on May 20. It would have most certainly postponed baseball games at least a day or two. But the Vibes didn’t play their UCHealth Park opener until June 21.
“We were vindicated,” Phillips said with a smile. “In years past a snowstorm like that would have caused all sorts of problems. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with that anymore.”
According to Vibes/Sky Sox historian Chris Moyer, the Vibes played their first 34 games without any postponed games, doubleheaders, shortened games or extra-inning games. During the long tenure of full-season baseball history in Colorado Springs (Millionaires 1901-1905, Single-A Sky Sox 1950-1958, and Triple A Sky Sox 1988-2018), none of those Colorado Springs teams ever made it through the first 33 games of the season without either a shortened, extra-inning, postponed game or a doubleheader.
As noted, the arrival of the Vibes to Colorado Springs was part of a series moves completed by Elmore Sports Group. The former Sky Sox have become the San Antonio Missions, replacing a Class AA Texas League franchise with the same name that relocated to become the Amarillo Sod Poodles and open a new ballpark.