The Colorado Rockies have had many memorable performances from their young studs in recent years. Most notably, the young pitching staff that carried the Rockies to the playoffs in 2017.
As a mid-market team, the Rockies have always relied on the success of young players. With super prospect Brendan Rodgers set to make his debut possibly as soon as this season, we took a look back at four of the most memorable debuts in franchise history.
With a near three hour game the night before, Rockies manager Don Baylor gave a few of his sluggers a rare day off because there being a day game after a night game. With Dante Bichette and Ellis Burks on the bench, highly touted prospect Todd Helton received the start in left field for his MLB debut on Saturday, August 2, 1997. The future-long time Rockie wasted no time in living up to the hype that led to the Rockies decision in moving on from stalwart First Baseman Andres Galarraga at season’s end.
After lining out in his first at bat, Helton singled to left field in the fourth inning off Pittsburgh Pirates starter Francisco Cordova, who combined to throw a no-hitter through ten innings (he threw nine of them and reliever Ricardo Rincon came on in the tenth) exactly three weeks prior. On the hit, he moved his predecessor Galarraga from first to third base.
He walked in the sixth inning and in his third at bat in the eighth inning, Helton hit his first career home run to right-center field of reliever Marc Wilkins. Helton finished the day 2-4 with a walk and five total bases. August 2, 1997 would officially mark Helton’s arrival in the MLB as he was never sent down to the minor league again (not including DL rehab assignments).