DENVER — Former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton took a significant step towards the Baseball Corridor of Fame on Tuesday.
Corridor of Fame voters from the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America didn’t grant any participant the required 75 % for election, which means there might be no BBWAA-elected honoree for
DENVER — Former Rockies first baseman
Corridor of Fame voters from the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America didn’t grant any participant the required 75 % for election, which means there might be no BBWAA-elected honoree for the primary time since 2013. However Helton made important progress within the third of his 10 eligible years on the poll.
Helton, who spent his complete 17-year profession with Colorado from 1997-2013, was listed on 44.9 % of ballots, after displaying up on 29.2 % final yr. His 15.7-percent improve was the second highest amongst gamers on this yr’s poll, behind solely former third baseman Scott Rolen, who jumped 17.6 % as much as 52.9.
“It is all the time good to have a rise — nonetheless a protracted option to go,” Helton mentioned Tuesday evening. “However you have to have a look at it as a 10-year race, as a substitute of simply this yr.”
In 2019 (his first yr on the poll), Helton acquired 16.5 % of votes. The leap from ’20 to ’21 confirms a sample. Of gamers who’ve acquired at the least 29.2 % of their second yr on the poll, solely three — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling — haven’t earned election. The opposite 99 have been inducted.
The story of Helton’s candidacy is wrapped in a possible bias towards Rockies hitters, due to Denver’s distinctive environment and the hitter-friendliness of Coors Area. Nevertheless, Helton has seemingly been helped the truth that outfielder Larry Walker, who spent the majority of his profession with Colorado, earned election in 2020, his last yr of eligibility.
After the 2020 induction ceremony was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walker might be honored alongside former shortstop Derek Jeter, former catcher Ted Simmons and longtime MLB Gamers Affiliation government director Marvin Miller (posthumously) on July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“Clearly, I used to be very pleased with him, proud for him,” Helton mentioned of Walker. “It’s simply a tremendous time in his life, and far deserved.”
Helton’s vote complete ranked seventh on the 2021 poll, behind Schilling (71.1 %), Bonds (61.8), Clemens (61.6), Rolen (52.9), Omar Vizquel (49.1) and Billy Wagner (46.4).
Helton holds the mantle because the Rockies’ best participant because of his membership information for video games performed (2,247), runs scored (1,401), hits (2,519), doubles (592), dwelling runs (369), RBIs (1,406) and walks (1,335). Helton was the primary participant in Rockies historical past to have his jersey quantity (No. 17) retired. Final winter, Colorado introduced it’ll equally honor Walker (No. 33).
Ought to Helton ultimately make the Corridor, he would be part of 55 present Corridor of Famers who spent their complete profession with one membership. Jeter was the latest amongst that group to be elected.
Apart from Helton’s 17 seasons in the identical uniform (“I actually loved being at that place — it’s not like I used to be handcuffed to the crew,” he mentioned), he’s most pleased with his 592 profession doubles.
“I used to be a gap-to-gap-type hitter,” mentioned Helton, who added that he would like to return to the Rockies’ group in come capability. “I used to be not simply slapping singles. I used to be probably not a house run hitter. I used to be a doubles hitter. That’s what I used to be my entire life. Similar factor once I was within the large leagues.”
Helton was considered one of 4 gamers in Main League historical past with 5 or extra consecutive seasons with a .320 or higher batting common and at the least 30 dwelling runs, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored. Helton had this run from 1999-2003. The others are all within the Corridor of Fame — Lou Gehrig (1930-37), Babe Ruth (1926-32) and Jimmie Foxx (1932-36).
Helton slashed .316/.414/.539 in his profession. Solely six gamers in MLB historical past — Gehrig, Ruth, Foxx, Rogers Horns, Stan Musial and Ted Williams — had equal or higher numbers in every of these three classes.