DENVER - Robert Martinez is a baseball guy living in a Broncos
Maybe you've seen the proof of that already, driving around in the Berkeley area in northwest Denver. Tucked away in the neighborhood, near the intersection of Utica Street at West 39th Avenue, is a monument made for the Colorado Rockies.
"It's a peach tree that I planted a few years ago. It died after a few years of giving peaches," he explains, saying he didn't want to cut it down. "I'd seen it in my mind first, what we can do with that."
Specifically, he planted the tree about a decade back; it died about four years ago. At the time, Martinez knew a jeweler who worked down the alley, along Tennyson Street, who said he could turn trees and stumps into art.
“I asked him if he could put a baseball bat there," Martinez says. "He said he could, so he did."
The friend spent a week carving the tree. He smoothed and sealed the wood, adding a "CR" to the side of the bat. The bottom is painted purple and a baseball is perched on the top. A bench and gravel surround the tree, representing the "Rock Pile" at Coors Field, and home plate is on the ground right where it should be.
The bat is worn, but in relatively perfect condition. The cover Martinez's friend added to the ball has been weathered, and is peeling away. Martinez thinks that adds some flavor.
"It’s been coming apart about a year now. Started last year, that skin off there, but I’ve seen -- when they knock home-runs -- that leather fly right off,” he says.
The jeweler added personal touches for Martinez; he carved heart shapes into tree, where Martinez painted the names of his daughters. He also painted "I love you, Rachel" on a stump, but that paint has all faded away now.
Martinez says people stop by all the time just to take pictures with his bat.
And, as you can guess, Martinez absolutely went to the Rockies' opening day on Friday.
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