More from Rox Pile
- 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?
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
Todd Helton’s path could have gone a few ways but the Rockies path would have been very murky.
So for the 1998 season, Helton would have either been in the minors or replaced Vaughn in left field and, perhaps, replaced Joyner after the 1998 season or after the 1999 season (which is when the Padres traded him to Atlanta).
Helton likely would have replaced Tony Gwynn as the Padres franchise guy and, like he had to deal with as a Rockie in the early 2000s, deal with some very lean years. However, the Padres went 87-75 (3rd place in the NL West) in 2004, which was their first season at Petco Park. If Helton would have had the numbers he did with the Rockies in 2004, the Padres may have been able to win six more games and win the division.
The Padres did win the NL West in 2005 and 2006 as well. But just think if the Padres had him in 2007. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was, arguably, the best offensive player for then-rookie Padres manager Bud Black but if Helton isn’t on the Rockies, there is no Rocktober because there wouldn’t have been Game 163.
The Colorado Rockies franchise history could look a lot different if Helton decided to sign with the Padres and spurn the University of Tennessee.
Who knows? If he signed with the Padres, they may have decided to make him a pitcher (as he was a two-way player in college). But if he didn’t spurn the Padres offer, we most definitely would not be talking about Todd Helton as a potential Hall of Famer in a Rockies uniform.