WASHINGTON -- Beginning with Wednesday night's game, the Rockies will wear a patch on their jerseys to honor Keli McGregor, the 48-year-old team president who was found dead in his Salt Lake City, Utah, hotel room Tuesday morning.
"It still hurts, because he was a very important person," said outfielder Carlos Gonzalez upon learning that the patch had been sewn on the team's jerseys. "He gave us everything, and all he was asking for was us trying to get the best ... for this team. I know a lot of guys on this team knew him for a long time, a longer time than me, and I can tell how difficult it is for them."
Manager Jim Tracy acknowledged that the healing process is taking small steps the day after the popular McGregor's unexpected death.
"It's a little better, a very little bit -- about this much," Tracy said, holding the thumb and forefinger on his right hand about a half-inch apart.
The patch, however, will be a tangible reminder of McGregor's impact on the team he loved. The black, circular patch will be worn on the right sleeve, and it bears McGregor's initials, "KSM," in silver lettering.
"It gives you a lot of motivation," Gonzalez said. "It keeps you happy to think about how important it is to have the opportunity to be alive and to play every day. This is something that we enjoy, that we love. And it makes you appreciate every single day where we are right now."
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.