Todd Helton, the former Colorado Rockies first baseman who is the franchise’s career leader in just about every offensive category, had his number retired Sunday before the Rockies’ game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field.
Here’s a video of the ceremonies:
Your browser does not support iframes.
And, strangely, the Rockies marked the occasion by giving away these sort of creepy Helton bobble-gnomes, as shown to us by Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post via Twitter:
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) August 17, 2014
Maybe it’s not such a strange choice. After all, the Rockies were just 47-75 entering play Sunday, buried in the basement in the National League West with the second-worst record in baseball, and their owner,
Dick Monfort, has been insulting the fan base off and on all season.
Helton played 17 seasons, all with the Rockies, from 1997-2013. He was a five-time All-Star and won the batting title in 2000 after hitting .372. He also led the league that season with 216 hits, 59 doubles, 147 RBI a .463 on-base percentage, .698 slugging percentage and 1.162 OPS.
Helton also won three Gold Gloves and is the Rockies’ franchise leader in wins above replacement, games played, at-bats, plate appearances, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks and strikeouts.
He hit .300 or better 12 times in his career, drove in at least 100 runs five times and hit at least 30 home runs in six different seasons.
Overall, he hit .316/.414/.539 in 2,247 games, with 1,401 runs, 2,519 hits, 592 doubles, 369 homers and 1,406 RBI.
He will be eligible for Hall of Fame contention beginning in 2019, but according to a piece Saunders wrote around the time of Helton’s retirement last year, Helton will face an uphill battle to get elected.
And here’s why:
Helton is the first Rockies player to have his jersey retired since the franchise began play in 1993. The only retired number for Colorado is No. 42, which was retired by all of Major League Baseball in 1997.