DENVER -- Dick Monfort was quite formidable on the mound -- of snow, that is.
Shovel in hand, the Colorado Rockies owner joined a crew of team employees helping to dig out snow-covered Coors Field, clearing the way for the Rockies and New York Mets to finally play ball.
This is one assignment that didn't give him cold feet, just a sore back.
Well worth it, though, to try and squeeze in a doubleheader against the New York Mets on Tuesday. Although the game started at 5:10 p.m. EDT, first pitch had been pushed back two hours to finish clearing the field. At the scheduled game time, there were still piles of snow in front of the Rockies dugout and along the right-field line.
Now, there's hardly a trace of snow around.
Monfort had plenty of company removing the snow, as vice-president Bill Geivett -- wearing a heavy Montreal Expos jacket -- and chief baseball officer Dan O'Dowd also scooped snow off the turf as well.
Even Sandy Alderson, the GM for the Mets, pitched in on a bank of snow near the team's dugout.
"It looks like they want to see a game today," Monfort said.
Especially the Mets, who haven't played since Saturday after having two straight games wiped out by weather. Wintry conditions in Minneapolis on Sunday forced the game against the Twins to be called off. The game Monday also was postponed due to a heavy spring snow storm passing through the area.
"We're pretty tired of sitting at the hotel," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Everybody wants to get going. This is what they're here for -- to go out and play. To have two days in a row off is unheard of."
Not that the players are overly thrilled about playing in chilly conditions.
And it definitely will be frigid.
The temperature at first pitch 39 degrees, tying for the 10th coldest game in the Mile High City. The record is 28 degrees on April 12, 1997, against Montreal. The second contest of the doubleheader -- scheduled to start 30 minutes after conclusion of Game 1 -- will see the temperature dip even lower, maybe even with a little bit of snow mixed in.
"In general terms, the game wasn't made to be played in conditions like this," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's such a game of feel. It's tough to execute certain aspects of the game in cold weather. That will be a challenge."
The real challenge was getting the field playable.
-- The Associated Press