Denver, CO, United States (4E Sports) – After 17 years with the Colorado Rockies, first baseman Todd Helton announced that he will retire at season’s end.
Considered the greatest player in Colorado history, Helton, who turns 40 in August 20, will hang up his jersey as the Rockies all-time leader in games, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, runs and walks.
Helton has played 2,235 with the Rockies, tallying 2,505 hits, 367 homers and a batting average of .317. Entering his final playing days, Helton is 16th all-time with 586 doubles and 75th with 367 home runs.
Colorado’s first-round pick in 1995, Helton played 2,235 games in Rockies purple, black and silver. Only 21 players have played more games with just one team.
Among active players, only Derek Jeter’s 2,602 games in Yankee pinstripes top Helton’s tenure with the Rockies.
“I am sure it will be hard,” Helton told the Denver Post. “A lot of guys say it’s the camaraderie and sitting in the clubhouse that they miss. I can go to hunting camp and sit around talking to the guys. I will miss the competition.”
“I love the game. I enjoy it more than people might think. I enjoy preparing, getting myself ready, and going out and battling. I don’t know how I am going to replace that,” he added.
Rockies fans will have a chance to honor him properly starting Monday, when Helton begins his final homestand at Coors Field — nine games against the Cardinals, D-backs and Red Sox.
The fans will say goodbye on Todd Helton Bobblehead Day on Sept. 25. His final game will be at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 29.
“For seventeen years, number ’17′ has been the icon of Colorado Rockies baseball,” Rockies owner, chairman and chief executive officer Dick Monfort said.
“Todd will be missed and our hope is he will be a part of our Colorado baseball family for many more years to come. Thanks Todd!” he added.