DENVER -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge had a Rocky Mountain reunion over the weekend, joined by 16 members of his family as he returned to Colorado to face the team that picked him in the second round of the 1992 expansion Draft.
"My mom and dad drove in from Fort Wayne," Wedge said. "That's a good three-dayer there. My brother and his wife and four kids drove up from Wichita, so that's about eight hours. And Kate and the kids and the babysitter flew in from Seattle."
Wedge played one of his four big league seasons for the Rockies, starting and finishing his career in Boston before cutting it short after eight surgeries. Though he only played nine games with the Rockies, trips back to Colorado rekindle the good experience he had with the club in its infancy.
"The inaugural year was a lot of fun," Wedge said. "I was just here that first year and the spring of the second year. But the electricity at Mile High and the city itself was incredible. The excitement of the fans and the community, and really the region at that point in time.
"All us players in the inaugural Draft were coming from different organizations and really not knowing each other. In that clubhouse with basically 26 different bags from 26 different teams. It was a neat experience to go through."
With 39 games in his big league career, Wedge spent more time on the DL than on the active roster, so it caught him off guard to be drafted by the Rockies in the first place.
"I was surprised, because my arm was in a sling -- shocker," Wedge recalled. "I just had major surgery on my elbow, and I think everybody thought I was safe, but they still picked me. I was shocked, surprised. It changes your life, takes you on a whole new journey, a whole different path."
Wedge is one of two managers to emerge from the Rockies inaugural roster, joining Joe Girardi as big league skippers who trace their roots back to the Mile High City.
"I guess you don't bet against anything," Wedge said. "That definitely wasn't on our minds at that point in time. He was a little bit older than me. He was really good to me, and we had a nice relationship and still do to this day."