Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mr. Rockie, Todd Helton Announces Retirement

Todd Helton is a rare breed, not many players play their whole career playing for the very team that drafted him.  Todd Helton was drafted out of the University of Tennessee and he also was the Quarterback for the Vols before an injury let another player become the new starting Quarterback, that player's name is Peyton Manning.  Todd was also the Vols team closer for a season setting their team record for saves in a year at 11 while posting a 0.89 ERA.

Helton was drafted 8th overall by the Rockies in the 1995 draft, and debuted in the majors in late 1997.  Helton during his first five years was the best there was at first base, but in 2003 when Albert Pujols shifted from 3B to 1B Todd Helton began taking a backseat in all-star votes.  If back injuries around 2007 to present weren't so serious we would be talking about Helton in the 3,000 hit club and not just the 2,500 hit club.  After back problems started taking away his power numbers, his average went from a career .335 to .317.  In the day where money dictates the team you play for, it is a rarity to have one player in a franchise to be that almost all offensive records.  Todd collected his 2,500 hit two weeks after hitting a double down the left field line.

#2 Helton and #16 Peyton Manning
Peyton and Todd are still good friends today

Stats as of 9-15-13

.317 Avg /  2,505 Hits  /  367 HR  /  1,397 RBI  /  586 2B

Those stats above all together I think are deserving for a Hall of Fame nod, but I could see their being Coors Field factor in the voting.  As much as I enjoy Helton as a player, I do think the Rockies have suffered because of having no everyday healthy first basemen for the past 5 years.  This year the Rockies have just in 2013 have used 7 different first basemen, that doesn't help having a good cohesive working group.


.372 Average in 2000
147 RBIs in 2000
49 Home Runs in 2001
5 Time All Star
3 Gold Gloves

Last year Chipper Jones at every ball park got standing ovations from fans, this year Mariano Riveria will get presents from all teams, but Helton will quietly go into retirement unfortunately without much of any fan fare.  Hats of to one of my all-time favorite players, and thanks for being Mr. Rockie!  Colorado and the Denver area right now is in a time of emergency with the floods and loss of life so even with the last of the remaining home-stands I wouldn't expect to much joy around Coors Field.

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