Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Colorado Rockies' Charlie Blackmon credits road Bible studies in building team chemistry

The season is still in its infancy as the calendar inches toward June, but the Colorado Rockies are the NL West division leaders for the first time this season.

The Rockies held off the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Monday night and improved their road record to 19-11, best in the majors.

A player that has thrived on the road is Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon, who has hit a baseball-best 11 of his 12 home runs away from hitter-friendly Coors Field. He credits his success to the comfort of playing with the same core from a year ago, which led the Rockies to their first playoff appearance since 2009.

“Our chemistry is a lot like it was last year,” Blackmon told Sports Spectrum. “We have the same core in the sense that we still have Nolan (Arenado), we still have DJ (LeMahieu), Trevor (Story) is going to be our shortstop. We got the same guys that are going to be in there everyday and what we did was we added some key pieces, mostly in the bullpen.”

The team chemistry has also been built off the field as well. On road trips, Blackmon and several teammates meet in teammate Ian Desmond’s suite to hold a Bible study. The studies help the players stay encouraged in their faith in Christ and build a closer bond together.

“The baseball culture hasn’t made Jesus very cool,” Blackmon said. “You’re going against the grain in a sense, but we have quite a few Christians on the team and we have a Bible study. We have a good chaplain and we have a pretty good sense of community on the team.”

The study is led by Rockies radio broadcaster Jerry Schemmel, who takes the players through a message and gives them a safe space to talk about the different pressures they face during the season.

“It’s really nice to have other guys that you can fall back on and talk to especially over the course of a six-month season. A lot of pressure. It’s just really nice to have someone that you can associate with,” Blackmon said.

The Rockies look to win their 20th road game of the year Tuesday against the Dodgers at 10:10 p.m. ET.

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