Todd Helton’s Case for Cooperstown
This has been the theme the entire 2014 season as Todd Helton is set to become the first player to have his number retired by the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, August 17th.
The whole weekend series against the Reds is stamped with Helton’s number and name all over it. Whether it is a bobblehead, jersey or even collectible baseballs, “Helton” and the number 17 will cover Coors Field.
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Though this is a huge honor for Helton, it begs the question: Is this just the hors d’oeuvre to what could be the ultimate main dish? (Pardon my French.)
A shot at baseball’s most coveted permanent residence – Cooperstown – would be quite a compliment to what a great career our beloved first baseman had.
Here is my case, by the numbers, as to why Todd Helton SHOULD be in the Hall of Fame:
7 – Only seven others players, besides Helton, own a .316 batting average, .414 on-base percentage and .539 slugging percentage. The others? Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. All of them, except for current Los Angeles Angel Pujols, are in the Hall of Fame.
8 – His career batting average of .316 is the eighth-highest for any player since 1946 (minimum 5,000 at-bats).
2 – Helton is the only player not named Stan Musial in Major League history to have 2,500 doubles, 550 doubles, 350 home runs and a batting average over .315.
175 – In a Hall of Fame Monitor, created by Bill James, Helton scored 175 points. The monitor gives points by year-to-year achievements in statistical and award categories. If you score 100, you are normally in the discussion for induction. 130 almost certainly guarantees you Hall of Fame status.
The five-time All-Star had a career batting average of .316, 592 doubles, 369 home runs and a career WAR of 61.5. He collected three Gold Gloves and was named a Silver Slugger four times.
How do you like them apples?
If it were up to us Rockies fans, there would be no doubt. What Helton has meant to the organization and how he has handled himself in the community would make him a first-ballot choice.
Between those numbers and his unprecedented character, Helton should find himself in Cooperstown when all is said and done.