What a Crazy Week for Todd Helton

The announcement of Todd Helton's election to the Baseball Hall of Fame was just the start of a very busy "Hall of Fame" week for the Rockies Superstar.
Todd Helton, National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2024, at the plate for the Colorado Rockies.
Todd Helton won the 2000 batting title with a .372 average over 160 games. His skills earned him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Todd Helton, Wiki Commons(3738116090)

Todd Helton officially learned that he had been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 on Tuesday, January 23rd at 6:25 pm ET. Helton never expected the flurry of activities that announcement would trigger for what is known as his Hall of Fame week.

Within two days of the announcement, Helton traveled to Cooperstown for his first official action as a Hall of Famer – joining his fellow Class of 2024 inductees Joe Mauer and Adrián Beltré. The three newest Hall of Fame members joined Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch, Board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark and BBWAA Secretary-Treasurer Jack O’Connel in their first official news conference since the announcement which took place in the honored room containing the actual Hall of Fame at the Museum.

The three players then traded their suit jackets for official “Hall of Fame” jerseys before  signing the backer boards for their own plaques before a hoard of photographers.  (The actual plaques will be unveiled during Induction Weekend on July 21, 2024.) Together they then spent some time visiting with the MLB Network.

One benefit of being an inductee is enjoying the special artifacts of other Hall of Fame members.

Helton took time to enjoy the plaques of the other Hall of Famers. This included a moment honoring Tony Gwynn, Class of 2007, a mentor who gave Helton guidance on his vision at the plate. The Rockies slugger then got to hold Babe Ruth’s fabled bat and George Brett’s bat involved in the pine tar ejection along with other treasured baseball relics from the Museum’s extensive collection.

Helton took it all in stride.  “Everything happens pretty quick,” he told reporters.  “I welcome it, it’s exciting. I’m trying to take it slow and take it all in – just have some good memories of this day and this week.”

Meanwhile congratulations poured in from everywhere. Of course, Larry Walker was early in the mix as the only other player to enter the Hall of Fame from the Colorado Rockies. Calls from Shortstop Derek Jeter and Manager Joe Torre of the New York Yankees, seven-time All-Star designated hitter Paul Molitor and George Brett from the Kansas City Royals were among the most memorable. Peyton Manning quickly weighed in as well; Manning was Helton’s backup Quarterback at the University of Tennessee in 1994. (Yes, you read that right – Manning was Helton’s backup QB!)

“I’d never heard it put as a ‘Hall of Fame family,’ Helton reflected, “but that’s what it is. It’s pretty special.”

The weekend’s final appearance was a surprise for the fans attending the first Rockies Fan Fest since 2000. Helton joined a surprised panel talking about what else – baseball – then finished with a ceremony in his honor at the adjacent McGregor Square.

Helton’s impressive resume included five All-Star appearances, three Golden Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. In 2000 he won the batting title with a .372 average across 160 games. There are many stories of on-field prowess and off-the-field greatness that we’ll share later, like how he may have played a significant role in the Denver Broncos win in Super Bowl L. We’re from Colorado and have been fans of Helton during his entire 17-year career with the Rockies.

So now that there are two Rockies in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the question inevitably becomes who will be next?  What’s your guess?

Image Credit(s):

2024 NFL Draft Caleb Williams Jerseys at Lids.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *