Best Single Seasons In Colorado Sports History
We love our sports in Colorado and there have been no shortages of great moments and great players to grace the fields, courts and ice rinks in stadiums and arenas across the state.
Now, we look back on some of the best of the best in seasons over the years and reminisce about these players, their special runs and the memories that came along with them.
In no particular order:
1997 Larry Walker/Colorado Rockies
Larry Walker's 1997 season was one to remember for Rockies fans. Walker batted .366, slugged 49 home runs and drove in a whopping 130 runs. Walker also was a gem in the field too, earning a Golden Glove Award that year as well as taking home the National League MVP. He finished as a runner-up to Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez in the home run derby during the all-star game that year as well.
He was knows as a prankster in the clubhouse and even on the field at times, such as when he pulled THIS stunt while facing Randy Johnson in the All Star Game that year.
YouTube/ Deric Swanson
2013 Payton Manning/Denver Broncos
Manning led the entire NFL in 2013 and shattered the record for most TD's in a single season when he tossed 55 and threw for over 5400 yards. He won NFL MVP that year and also was rightfully named offensive player of the year. But the Payton train came to an abrupt halt in Super Bowl 48 when he and the high-powered Broncos offense ran into Seattle's Legion of Boom. Still, it doesn't take away from the phenomenal year he gave Bronco Nation. Not to mention that he led the team back to the Super Bowl two years later and won the Super Bowl 50.
YouTube/ Yohanis Shay
2000-2001 Joe Sakic/Colorado Avalanche
One of the all-time greatest players EVER in the NHL just happened to play in Denver for 13 seasons. In his marquee season, Sakic netted 54 goals, 12 of which were game-winning goals. He was also responsible for 118 points (goals and assists combined). That year, he led the Avs to their second Stanley Cup trophy and snagged the NHL MVP that year as well.
I'll always remember this OT goal in the Western Conference finals that sent the Avs to the Cup Final.
1969-70 Spencer Haywood Denver Rockets
Yeah, they used to be the Denver Rockets, and back in the old ABA days, Spencer Haywood, who had a LONG career, had one of the best seasons in a Rockets uniform.
Haywood was one of the first players to turn pro before graduating from college, and the NBA initially refused to let him play in the league. But it's a good thing they did, because Haywood averaged nearly 30 points and 19.5 rebounds per game in his only ABA season, and was named the ABA MVP, ABA rookie of the year and the All-Star Game MVP. The team finished 51–33, winning their division before exiting the playoffs in the 2nd round.
YouTube/ Mile High Sports
1994 Rashaan Salaam/Colorado Buffaloes
The story of Rashaan Salaam is both triumphant and sad. Rashaan was a beast of a running back for the Buffaloes from 1992-1994. His final year was one to remember as he rushed for a school single season rushing record, going for over 2000 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns. He led the Buffaloes to an 11-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame. He was selected in the first round (21st overall) by the Chicago Bears in the 1995 draft. After jumping around the NFL for several different teams and even making a stop in the CFL, he retired in 2004. But the tragedy comes in his early death at the age of 42.
YouTube/ Pac 12 Networks
1998 Joey Porter/Colorado State Rams
Joey Porter had one of the best single seasons for a defensive player, not just for the CSU Rams but in NCAA history in 1998, when he recorded 15 sacks and tied a school record, becoming third in the entire NCAA that year. It seemed like after EVERY snap on the defensive side, Joey Porter either made the tackle, sacked the quarterback or was applying pressure. Porter was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a leader of a stout defense that led the league for many years during his time there. His career was highlighted when he won a Super Bowl in February of 2006.
YouTube/ Colorado State Rams