|Todd Helton #17 – Getty images
Everyone knew it was inevitable but no one expected it to happen this quickly. First baseman Todd Helton, who played for 17 years with the Colorado Rockies, is a symbol of the Rockies’ organization and fan favorite should have his number retired but he only retired in September of 2013. This makes the announcement, first reported by Troy Renck of the Denver Post on Twitter, of the retiring of his number this season a bit of a surprise.
Helton’s number will be officially retired on Sunday, August 17, 2014 in a game against the Cincinnati Reds but the Rockies’ organization is going to make an entire weekend out of it to celebrate.
Helton did what most others do not do in any sport. He, like Mariano Rivera, spend his entire career with the same team and the Rockies were lucky to have him. Helton finished his career as a .316 hitter with 369 home runs, 592 doubles, 2, 519 hits and 1, 406 RBI. He did have the chance to play in the World Series for the Rockies in 2007 but they were defeated by the Boston Red Sox. Here’s what Helton had to say about his experience playing in the fall classic,
Obviously, yeah, I wish we did win a World Series. But when I look at it, I think I was very blessed, fortunate to be in a World Series. I look at a lot of the things we did accomplish and not the one we didn’t.
Helton is the best player in the short history of the Rockies along with Larry Walker but Helton holds the most club records. He is the all-time leader in games played, at-bats, and many other meaningful statistics. Helton was the first player to truly be the face of the Rockies’ franchise and he is a class act on and off the field.
|Helton – Getty Images
The Rockies are one of only a handful of teams to not have had a player inducted to the Hall of Fame. Larry Walker came close but most agree that the honor will go to Helton in the near future. Of course there are critics because he played at the hitter-friendly Coors Field and because he never won an MVP award but the rest of his work speaks for itself and one day he should get into Cooperstown as the Rockies’ first member.
So the weekend of August 15-17 this year, remember to stop and tip your caps to the career of Todd Helton, who was a true class act and great baseball player. Once quote as saying,
I hate the ballplayer who says, ‘I did everything I could have possibly done.’ Because if you didn’t win it all, you obviously didn’t do everything you could have done.
Todd Helton certainly gave the Colorado Rockies 100% of all that he had and this up coming weekend of celebration is well deserved. Congrats, Mr. Helton.
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