Longtime followers of the ball club will create their own nostalgia of Helton in their own way with a personal collage of their favorite moments long after his last at-bat. Mine will always be watching Todd’s hands raised in the air in triumph during the final out of the 2007 NLCS in which the Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks en route to the World Series.
Seeing the culmination of a career of tough seasons and sacrifices was one moment I will never forget. It was simply one of countless memories courtesy of Helton that, to this day, still send chills down one’s spine. Passionate longtime followers of any team or player know exactly what I am referring to.
In their 20 years as an MLB franchise, the Rockies have yet to retire a number other than the historic no. 42. That will soon change, as the no. 17 will inevitably forever hang in honor of arguably Colorado’s greatest baseball player. In Colorado, Helton is the Rockies in much the same way that John Elway is the Denver Broncos. His legacy is as solid as the Rocky Mountains that surround the diamond he called home for 17 years.
In the end, Helton did it his way, in his time and on his own terms. As a member of a sport whose eye has been recently blackened by the scrutiny of high-profile athletes making poor decisions, Todd was one of the good guys; he was the epitome of class and he did it the right way all the way.
Simply put, the sport is losing one of its greatest ambassadors.