Jerrod Cyboron sipped soda through a plastic straw while he watched the Rockies take on the Giants on Wednesday evening. Cyboron looked at ease as he stood on the concourse behind Section 156. It was one of those nights at Coors Field — mid-70s, the sunset shading the sky pink and blue.
In the bottom of the third, the Rockies lineup flipped for the first time. The Outfield’s “Your Love” began to play over the speakers. Cyboron perked up.
“Every game I’ve been to this year, he’s hit a home run,” Cyboron said as Rockies leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon stepped to the plate.
Wednesday marked Cyboron’s third Rockies game of the season. He’s attended all of them alongside a small group from Denver Rescue Mission’s homeless shelter. Denver Rescue Mission is one of about 200 nonprofits to which the Rockies donate free tickets each season.
For Cyboron and the group of 30 who’ve come out, the game is an opportunity to experience a feeling they’d lost while living on the streets: The chance to feel connected.
“It’s nice to be part of the community,” Cyboron said. “It’s nice to be able to enjoy something in your life once again.”
Denver Rescue Mission provides services to homeless people, who find themselves in that circumstance for a range for reasons.
Cyboron has epilepsy. He was diagnosed when he was 3 years old. He still experiences anywhere between two and four seizures per month.
In 2014, Cyboron was staying with Frany, a friend more than 20 years his senior, and collecting disability checks to get by. But when Frany died of liver failure that year, Cyboron found himself with nowhere to go.
Cyboron ended up homeless in November 2014 — just as winter was setting in. Some nights, Cyboron used the money he’d begged for and headed to the Denny’s in Aurora on 6th and Sable. As long as he had enough money to pay for a meal, Cyboron was allowed to sit in a booth overnight to escape the cold.
“Some nights I had $4 and got the all-you-can-eat pancakes,” Cyborg said. “So I would go in there around 9 or 10 o’clock at night.”
Cyboron was homeless on and off for a stretch of 20 months. Knowing he wanted to break the cycle for good, Cyboron reached out to Denver Rescue Mission in October 2016. He left chaplain John Ware a message. The next morning, Ware called him back with good news.
“He said, ‘Are you still interested in staying at The Crossing?’ Cyboron recalled. “I said yeah.”
The bed and rehabilitation program there has helped Cyboron get back on track. He’s gotten a job handling in-bound calls for Wal-Mart. The seizures haven’t stopped, but things are better than they were.
“When they first come in here, they’re like a flower that’s been beaten up by a storm,” Ware said. “God brings them back to life.”
Last December, Cyboron got to attend his first Broncos game. Cyboron, 40, has followed the team since he was a child. He kept up with the Broncos when his family moved from Littleton to Jacksonville, Florida, and continued to do so when they moved back to Thornton. Cyboron remembers the early days of Elway all the way to Von.
He’d never been able to attend a game until Denver played New England last winter at Mile High. He got a ticket thanks to a donation to Denver Rescue Mission.
“It was incredible,” Cyboron said.
Going to the Broncos game last year and the Rockies games this year have granted Cyboron an escape. They’ve given him something to look forward to.
The Rockies lost 11-3 Wednesday. Cyboron still had a good time. He saw Blackmon smack a double. Blackmon also homered in the seventh — a behemoth 450-foot shot to right field.
“He hits one every time I’m there,” Cyboron said.
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