March 18, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton (17) signs autographs before a spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

A Colorado Rockies Lifer

Todd Helton is most likely a robot.

Did you know that Helton hit his 572 double last night against the San Diego Padres, pushing him to 21st all time and tying him with Pudge Rodriguez?

Did you know that Helton has played 2,131 games in his illustrious 17-year career? Wait, did you realize they have all been played in the purple pinstripes uniform of a Colorado Rockie? Did you know that the Rockies have only had 3,178 regular season games in their history? That means Todd Helton has played in almost 70% of every Rockies game ever played.

Did you know that Helton was never, ever optioned down to Triple-A? He came up at the young age of 23 to play 35 games in 1997 and has been the mainstay at first base in Coors Field ever since.

Here’s a freebie: did you know Todd’s middle name is Lynn? Or that he owns a sanctuary in Brighton, CO — just outside Denver? He is one of the only Rockies on this roster to make his offseason home in the Denver area.

Did you know that Helton has seen a staggering 36,849 pitches total (as of April 13, 2013)? That’s 4 pitches for every plate appearance. Doesn’t seem like many does it? Barry Bonds averaged 0.88 pitches per plate appearance. The crafty Ichiro has averaged 3.3 P/PA. Derek Jeter? 2.4 P/PA. Helton casts a shadow over many other superstar names like Pujols (3.49), A-Rod (2.40), and Jimmy Rollins (3.34). He has gobbled up more pitches per plate appearance than anyone else I can find.

Did you know that the ToddFather has 5 All-Star Game appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, and has placed in the MVP voting 6 times?? He holds the club records in just about every batting statistic — hits, home runs, runs scored, rubs batted in, and doubles just to name a few.

It has been nothing short of an illustrious career for Helton and yesterday before the Rockies’ game with the Padres he confirmed he has no desire to play for anyone else but the Colorado Rockies. This season he will turn 40 years old and is coming off hip and knee injuries (and surgery) that had hampered him for years, so while he hasn’t confirmed that this will be his last year in Major League Baseball it would be a pure and utter disgrace to trade Helton away at this point. His salary is only $5,000,000 for 2013 — a cheap price for a 17 year veteran. Sure, a lot could be done with $5 MM but would this front office use that money to land a better player?

There should be no last ditch effort to get him a ring by the Rockies brass. There will be no long, drawn out swan song tour for the Rockies first baseman with all the pomp and fanfare like there was last season for Chipper Jones. That’s not Todd’s way. He just wants to play baseball and enjoy what he knows is the end of his career. And then maybe enjoy time with his family for a while after that. Get out to Coors Field this summer and enjoy him while you still can.

Tags: Colorado Rockies Todd Helton

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