With Tom Brady shifting the landscape of the National Football League by leaving the New England Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I started thinking about who would be comparable to Brady’s New England start and finish in Colorado Rockies history.
Of course, Brady achieved plenty of success and Super Bowl titles during his time in New England while the Colorado Rockies have yet to win a World Series. But it isn’t about number of titles where we’ll be comparing for the sake of this article.
When trying to compare someone on the Rockies with the same career trajectory as Brady, several Rockies fans with whom I spoke agreed that the best comparison for Colorado is Troy Tulowitzki.
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Brady took the field on September 23, 2001, taking over for an injured Drew Bledsoe. He would be under center for the Patriots through their 2019 postseason loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Tulowitzki, meanwhile, would make his debut on August 30, 2006, and record his first Major League hit the next night. Ironically, the hit would be an infield single that was fielded by Jose Reyes of the New York Mets. Reyes would be one of the players to come to the Rockies in the July 2015 trade that would send Tulowitzki from Colorado to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Both Brady and Tulowitzki would come up through their respective organizations and be a part of some of their franchises’ most memorable moments. They also would eventually play out the twilight of their careers with other teams. However, while Brady left the only team he had ever known on his own terms, Tulowitzki finally got a chance to say goodbye to Rockies fans when the Blue Jays visited Coors Field the season after his trade.
Not every player can be a Todd Helton, starting with a team and never leaving until retirement. In fact, fewer and fewer players will likely have that option in the changing business that is Major League Baseball.
While Tulowitzki never reached the championship peaks that Brady did, as a member of the Rockies, he represented something similar. He was a steady presence, one of the faces of the franchise during its most successful run, and revered by fans for his play long after he donned another uniform.
If there is another Rockies player you think would be a better comparison, let us know in the comments section below.