In 2001, when former Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe was still grinding his way through the lower minors, he decided to open a baseball facility called Cooperstown Cages in his hometown of Forth Worth, Texas.
“It’s an organization me and my friend started, back before there was a hitting facility and guru on every corner,” Hawpe said. “It was a way for me to spend all day long thinking about baseball and getting ready for the season. And while I was doing it, being able to help kids along the way.”
Now, the kids he’s helping are his own son, 10-year-old Drake, and Drake’s fellow teammates on the 11U Cooperstown Cobras, for which Hawpe is the head coach. For the nine-year major league veteran who spent seven seasons with Colorado — hitting .280 with 118 homers and earning an all-star nod in 2009 — his baseball life has now come full circle.
“A lot of the kids I taught lessons to while I was in the minor leagues, now their kids train there,” Hawpe said. “And even though I don’t work (at Cooperstown Cages), I’ll still go there to work with some of the big-league and minor league players… This past offseason, I hit with Triple-A (Albuquerque) outfielder Sam Hilliard several times.”
Meanwhile, at home, Drake “loves watching Rockies baseball games — that’s like his thing,” Hawpe said. The 39-year-old also keeps a close eye on his former team. He recalled his 2004 debut against the Braves and Colorado’s 2007 World Series run with particular fondness.
“The things we did (in 2007) not only surprised the rest of the baseball world, but now that we’re looking back on it, we surprised ourselves,” Hawpe said.
Hawpe was in the sports nutrition business for about five years following his retirement from baseball after the 2013 season, and now spends developing and leasing properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He’s also partners on a ranch in the panhandle of Texas with former Colorado teammates Matt Belisle and Todd Helton.
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