But really, all we ever wanted was the chance to cheer and thank him.
That’s what made Todd Helton‘s decision to announce his retirement a few weeks before the end of the 2013 season admirable. Given his choice, he might have passed on all of that extra attention. But he honored the fact that fans wanted to give him a send-off, something that was done very nicely at his final home game.
To cap off his career, Helton took out a full page in the Denver Post thanking fans (courtesy of the Colorado Rockies Twitter feed):
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 30, 2013
A final gesture from a class act and the face of the organization. He will be the first to have his number retired and will (hopefully) be the first Hall of Famer.
In cruelly objective terms, the Rockies have been due an upgrade in production at first base for the last couple years and will seek as much this off-season. But that’s just about baseball, and things with Helton have been about more than baseball for quite some time now. The Rockies will never be able to replace Helton the man, and they will be hard-pressed to ever have another player like him.