There will be a number of the chances over the next two weeks to comment on Todd Helton‘s career, what it has meant to me to watch him play baseball all these years, and just how great he is. But for today, the day following the press conference in which he officially announced his retirement at season’s end, we’ll just let Helton say it for himself.
Quotes courtesy of the Denver Post:
It’s been an honor to be your first baseman for the last 17 years…I have grown from a man, to a husband and into a father. We have seen the good times and the bad. It’s been a pleasure to share all of that with you.”
Quotes courtesy of MLB.com:
What will I miss the most? I’ll miss the competition. I’ll miss the anticipation of walking out of the tunnel and seeing the fans, and getting ready to play the game. That’s going to be the toughest part to me.
“You hear all the time, ‘Why didn’t you smile more out there on the field? Why didn’t you show more emotion?’ Because I was out there trying my hardest. To me, when you’re out there trying your hardest, it’s hard to smile all the time. But let me tell you, I was enjoying myself. I was enjoying every minute that I spent out there.
“I’m going to miss walking out of the tunnel at night, walking past Charlotte [Johnson, who is in charge of the gate through which the players leave], saying goodnight, trying to figure out how I’m going to get a hit the next day or how we’re going to win a game the next day…To me, that’s going to be the hardest.
“The fans of Colorado, I’d like to thank them. I’d like to think that I’ve been the model of consistency, but ya’ll have been the model of consistency for me. I don’t know how those girls stand out there and hold that sign every time I come up.”
If you watched the Rockies at all, you know exactly who he’s talking about with that sign.
Video courtesy of the Denver Post: