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Dinger Bell

Rob Larson thinks Dinger does a disservice to the Rockies.

And, hey, this city has seen more unlikely campaigns. When brewpub owner John Hickenlooper was fighting to keep the name Mile High Stadium, people first started talking to him about running for mayor of Denver.

In the same spirit, Larson would let the people decide what mascot candidates go on the ballot. "The favorite idea I've heard so far," he says, "is a Tommy-knocker, one of the little guys who used to go into mines. Everyone could have little plastic pickaxes like those tomahawks." And then there's the notion of a rock — a pet rock, if you will — "that just sits in the field." Which would be a big improvement over Dinger's antics.

Larson was at the game Monday night, and while he didn't miss a minute of the action, he still kept an eye on Dinger: "Always, he's out there strutting around on top of the dugout — you really just want to push him off — but at the end, when the Rockies were getting their award, he was over in a corner, doing a little dance all by himself."

And now it's time for the mascot to face the music. Larson is hoping that some baseball fan with web skills will volunteer to fire up the nodinger site and help push for giving the people, the fans who've stuck by the Rockies through all the rough years, a chance to vote for a symbol that really means something. "If we'd get it on the ballot, I'll realize my dream," Larson says.

And as this season shows, dreams really do come true.

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