Helton Hall of Fame Worthy?

Zach Goodman, Spear Contributor

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If I was a writer for the Colorado Rockies the first name I would check off on the Hall of Fame Ballot would be Todd Helton. But if I was a part of any other organization I wouldn’t be so eager to check off the box next to his name.

 

How does someone determine whose face should be on a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York? Although several writers use personal opinion, most writers base their picks on factual evidence and stats. In the minds of the opinionated writers Todd Helton will someday become one of baseball’s immortals in the Hall of Fame. But the majority of the writers will never check off his name. Based on stats Todd Helton is close to being a Hall of Famer and would almost be guaranteed a spot if he didn’t play in altitude.

 

Helton’s career is overlooked because of where he played. On the foothills of the Rocky Mountains Coors Field sits 5,280 feet above sea level. That is the highest stadium in Major League Baseball. His stats display better play at Coors Field. If his stats away from Denver were comparable to the ones he produced in Colorado then he would have a spot reserved for him in the Hall. His stats were not even though. He boasted a .355 batting average at home and a .292 average away from home. Although .292 is not a bad average it is a steep drop from his .355 batting average at home. Voters will use the Coors Field altitude excuse to exclude his name from the ballot.

 

Todd’s career was star-studded. He appeared in the All-Star Game five times, won the batting title in 2000 with a .372 average, and won three Gold Gloves. He helped lead the Rockies to their 2nd and 3rd playoff appearances. He also was on the 2007 team that streaked into the World Series, winning 21 of 22 games and gave the Rockies their only National League Championship.

 

Todd is known around Colorado as “The Todd Father” or “Mr. Rockie.” He is the fan’s favorite player and is known as the best Rockie to ever live (along with Larry Walker). The number 17 is known by everyone in Colorado. It is only fitting he retired after 17 years in the MLB. He finished his career with 592 doubles, the 16th most of all time. He truly had a spectacular career.
Helton became the leader of a young Rockies organization and stayed there for his entire career. His stats compare to players already residing in the Hall. But he is overlooked because of where he played. If I had a ballot in my hand I would attempt to send him to the Hall of Fame. But can his career stats convince 75%, or 330 out of 440 voters, to write his name down? Although he is the best Rockie to ever play I do not think he will end up in the Hall of Fame. So I ask you this question. In two years when Todd is eligible for election, would he be checked off on your ballot?