We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 59 on our list, Justin Morneau.
After Todd Helton retired, the Rockies have been perpetually trying to fill the biggest void left in franchise history. For the first year after Helton’s retirement, they couldn’t have picked a better candidate. Justin Morneau debuted with the club brilliantly. The guy who paid homage his fellow Coloradan by way of Canada athletes, Patrick Roy and Larry Walker by wearing number 33, seemed right at home in Denver.
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
If it weren’t for injuries, Justin Morneau would likely still be the Rockies starting first baseman. Morneau signed a two-year deal after playing for the Twins and Pirates in 2013. Morneau didn’t play poorly for either team, he just wasn’t the same All-Star Minnesota grew accustom to. He was never the same player after he sustained a concussion in 2010.
But Morneau went through a career renaissance with the Rockies. He compiled a .319 batting average which was the best in the National League earning him the batting title. He drove in 82, hit 17 home runs that season, had a 125 OPS+ and maybe most importantly played 135 games his first year in Colorado. He should of made the All-Star Game but he did return to Minnesota (the host of the game that year) in the Home Run Derby. Morneau’s come back couldn’t not have been pulled off more seamlessly.
Very sadly, Morneau suffered another concussion while diving for a ball in May 2015. He played in 49 games that opened up a constant platoon at first base. He was not resigned to the team and later signed with the White Sox in 2016.
It is not clear whether Morneau will play in the majors in 2017 but he is suiting up for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. It was rumored that he would reunite with the Twins this year but that no longer seems on the table.
Whether Morneau ends up playing or retiring in 2017, hopefully healing is the number one priority. He has had a magnificent career and Rockies fans were lucky enough to get a glimpse of it first hand.
Check out the previous story about number 60 Ian Stewart here.