Grand Junction Rockies

Last updated
Grand Junction Rockies
Founded in 1978
Grand Junction, Colorado
GJ Rockies.png
Team logo
CurrentRookie (1978–1985, 1987–present)
Minor league affiliations
League Pioneer League (1978–1985, 1987–present)
DivisionSouth Division
Major league affiliations
Current Colorado Rockies (2001–present)
Minor league titles
League titles (1)1981
Division titles (4)
  • 1981
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 2018
Team data
NicknameGrand Junction Rockies (2012–present)
Previous names
  • Casper Ghosts (2008–2011)
  • Casper Rockies (2001–2007)
  • Butte Copper Kings (1978–1985, 1987–2000)
Ballpark Suplizio Field (2012–present)
Previous parks
ManagerJake Opitz
PresidentJoe Kubly

The Grand Junction Rockies are a Minor League Baseball team in the Pioneer League based in Grand Junction, Colorado, United States, where they play at Suplizio Field. They are the Rookie affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The Grand Junction Rockies mascot is Corky Coyote.

Minor League Baseball hierarchy of professional baseball leagues affiliated with Major League Baseball

Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball (MLB) and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses. Most are members of the umbrella organization known as Minor League Baseball (MiLB), which operates under the Commissioner of Baseball within the scope of organized baseball. Several leagues, known as independent baseball leagues, do not have any official links to Major League Baseball.

Pioneer League (baseball) baseball league operating at the Rookie Advanced level of Minor League Baseball

The Pioneer League is a Minor League Baseball league which currently operates in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. In the past, it also operated in adjoining portions of Canada. It is classified as a Rookie League and is staffed with mostly first and second-year players. The Pioneer League is a short-season league operating from June to early September.

Grand Junction, Colorado Home rule municipality in Colorado, United States

Grand Junction is a home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. The city has a council–manager form of government, and is the most populous municipality in all of western Colorado. Grand Junction is 247 miles (398 km) west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 58,566. Grand Junction is the 15th most populous city in the state of Colorado and the most populous city on the Colorado Western Slope. It is a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. It is the principal city of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 146,723 in 2010 census.


Franchise history

The Butte Copper Kings, named for the once-powerful owners of the copper mines of Butte, Montana, began play in the Pioneer League in 1978 as a co-op team with players from the Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers organizations as well as a few free agents. [1]

Copper Kings

The Copper Kings were the three industrialists William A. Clark, Marcus Daly, and F. Augustus Heinze. They were known for the epic battles fought in Butte, Montana, and the surrounding region, during the Gilded Age, over control of the local copper mining industry, the fight that had ramifications for not only Montana, but the United States as a whole.

Butte, Montana Consolidated city-county in Montana, United States

Butte is the county seat of Silver Bow County, Montana, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. The city covers 718 square miles (1,860 km2), and, according to the 2010 census, has a population of 33,503, making it Montana's fifth largest city. It is served by Bert Mooney Airport with airport code BTM.

Beginning in 1987, the franchise had been operated by Silverbow Baseball. It was sold in 1996 to the Goldklang Group in a move necessary to stem conflict-of-interest issues when Silverbow head Jim McCurdy had taken the position of President of the Pioneer League in 1994. [2] Silverbow had attempted to sell the franchise in 1994 to investors from California, but the deal fell through when it was determined that Silverbow owned a lesser percentage of the franchise than it had purported to own. [3]

Following the 2000 season, the team relocated to Casper, Wyoming as the Casper Rockies (and was renamed the Ghosts before the 2008 season [4] ) and affiliated with Colorado. [5]

Casper, Wyoming City in Wyoming, United States

Casper is a city in and the county seat of Natrona County, Wyoming, United States. Casper is the second largest city in the state, according to the 2010 census, with a population of 55,316. Only Cheyenne, the state capital, is larger. Casper is nicknamed "The Oil City" and has a long history of oil boomtown and cowboy culture, dating back to the development of the nearby Salt Creek Oil Field. In 2010, Casper was named the highest-ranked family-friendly small city in the West, and ranked eighth overall in the nation in Forbes magazine's list of "the best small cities to raise a family".

On January 13, 2011, Casper Professional Baseball Club, LLC announced the sale of the team to Monfort Investment Group, a group headed by Colorado Rockies General Partners. [6]

October 17, 2011, Grand Junction city officials unanimously approved a lease agreement to the team, making Suplizio Field home to the newly renamed Grand Junction Rockies. [7]


Grand Junction Rockies roster


  • 10 Alex Achtermann
  • 32 Anderson Amarista
  • 11 Miguel Ausua
  • 30 Anderson Bido
  • 16 Blair Calvo
  • 45 Aneudy Duarty
  • 21 Cayden Hatcher
  •  9 Alex Haynes
  • 19 Eric Hepple
  • 33 Gavin Hollowell
  • 28 Jared Horn
  • 34 Mitchell Kilkenny
  • 23 Brandon Lambright
  • 26 Alejandro Mejia
  • 39 Juan Mejia
  • 25 Ever Moya
  • 18 Anderson Pilar
  • 17 Andrew Quezada
  • 24 Mike Ruff


  • 13 Jacob Barnwell
  •  8 Max George
  • 47 Ronaiker Palma
  • 44 Colin Simpson


  • 22 Reese Berberet
  •  2 Julio Carreras
  • 14 Eddy Diaz
  • 20 Robert Metz
  •  7 Cristopher Navarro
  • 22 Owen Taylor


  •  6 Walking Cabrera
  • 29 Brenton Doyle
  •  1 Todd Isaacs
  • 12 Yolki Pena
  •  5 Jack Yalowitz


  •  3 Jake Opitz


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Colorado Rockies 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated June 21, 2019
→ More rosters: MiLB    Pioneer League
Colorado Rockies minor league players

Notable players

Butte Copper Kings, [8] Casper Rockies and Casper Ghosts [9] players who have made appearances on Major League teams:

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  1. "Pioneer Adds Butte". The Sporting News. February 25, 1978. p. 63.
  2. "Copper Kings Have New Owners, Affiliation". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. June 18, 1996. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  3. "Jury Rules in Favor of Former Cooper Kings Team Owner". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. October 12, 1996. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  4. "Casper Ghosts Launch Glow-in-the-Dark Identity". Casper Ghosts. October 31, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  5. "Affiliations: Pioneer League". The Official Site of the Pioneer League. Pioneer Baseball League. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  6. "Monfort Investment Group Purchases Casper Ghosts". Official Site of the Casper Ghosts. Casper Ghosts. January 13, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  7. "Grand Junction officials OK Casper Ghosts' move to Colorado". Casper Star Tribune. October 17, 2011.
  8. "Butte Alumni". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  9. "Casper Alumni". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2011.