I normally do not write in the first person, but I have to regarding Todd Helton. The Colorado Rockies have been doing many things wrong. However, the Rockies do a great job honoring their greats.
The No. 17 was retired, and is the only number retired by the organization. This opens the door for former players such as Larry Walker, Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga and perhaps Ellis Burks. Helton was a great player for the Rockies, and will be a member of the Hall of Fame someday. He did not get the recognition that he should have received, because he was a member of Colorado.
I have been touched by moments of Helton’s career. It was great to see Helton in 2000. I was in college, on a road trip, listening to national radio debating whether or not he can hit .400. It was a pleasure to watch Helton in 2007. He made the game-winning catch in order for Colorado to make the playoffs, and made the pick to get Colorado into the World Series.
Also, I can honestly say as a Minnesota Twins fan, I did shed tears when Helton was honored at Coors Field in both 2013 and 2014, when his number went into the rafters.
The Rockies are awful this season. However, I take pleasure in this day that the Rockies honored their greatest player. Helton is a hard mystery to dissect. All he meant to Colorado and what the organization did for him — and not one tear. I did shed a tear, both during his last game at Coors Field in 2013 and today when Helton’s number was retired.
While in radio, I did interviews with Helton. I never understood why he was so quiet and a bit standoffish. I do get it now — Helton never cared about himself or his glamour. He cared about the Rockies and MLB. I have to give props to Helton’s family, Brad Hawpe, Matt Belisle and Drew Goodman of Roots Sports. It was a great show to watch as Colorado retired their first official jersey.