Longtime Colorado Rockies slugger Todd Helton said good-bye at Coors Field earlier this past week, and he played his final major league game Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
Capping what had to be an emotional period in his life, Helton took out a full-page ad in the Denver post to thank fans for their support through the years. It reads:
I want to thank you. For every ticket you bought, for every cheer you led, every rain delay you weathered, every sign you held, every rally cap you sported.
Thank you for welcoming me out of the shadow of "The Big Cat" [Andres Galarraga] and inspiring me to give every pitch, every pick, all I had. You inspired me to try harder, play through pain and weather the dry spells.
Today, I give you the curtain call. I offer my sincerest gratitude for your support over these 17 years.
— Todd Helton
Colorado Rockies, 1997-2013
A nice sentiment, even poetic. Now, if he'd only buy Dinger the Rockies mascot some pants.
Helton finished his career with a .316/.414/.539 batting line, along with 369 home runs, 592 doubles, 2,519 hits and 1,401 runs scored. He also had 1,335 walks and 1,175 strikeouts, which is pretty rare these days. His 61.3 bWAR — which accounts for the advantages he had playing home games at Coors Field — ranks 165th all-time. He ranks as the 14th-best first baseman of all time by JAWS — better than 11 Hall of Famers at that position, including Eddie Murray, Hank Greenberg and Harmon Killebrew.
Helton deserves Cooperstown and someday, probably, he'll get in.
Big BLS H/N: CBS Eye on Baseball