Next on the ballot is Todd Helton.
Todd was one of those rare players, getting rarer every year it seems, who played their entire career with one time. 17 seasons, all with the Colorado Rockies.
Helton hit .316/.414/.539, with 2519 hits (97th in MLB history), including 369 home runs (80th in MLB history) in 2247 games. His career bWAR is 61.2.
In his rookie season he hit .315/.380/.430 in 152 games and finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting.
Two years later he hit .372/.463/.698 with a league leading 216 hits, 59 doubles (also league leading), 42 home runs and 147 RBIs (league leading). He finished 5th in MVP voting.
Todd would make 5 All-Star teams, won 3 Gold Gloves. 4 Silver Sluggers and got MVP votes 6 times.
He had a streak of 5 straight seasons with OPS over 1.000.
Like many guys in the Hall of Fame, he had a very high peak and then continued out his career long enough to build great career numbers.
The question is how much will the Writers discount is numbers because he played in Denver all his career. Let’s call it the Larry Walker Syndrome.
The NL had some good first basemen in his ERA. I’m not sure where to rank him against Albert Pujols and Jeff Bagwell. Well I guess I do, Pujols and Bagwell were better players. but Helton wasn’t all that far behind.
I think Helton deserves to be in the Hall, but the Writers have quite a backlog of deserving players, so I’m thinking he won’t make it in this time.
Most similar careers: Richie Ashburn (elected by Veteran’s Committee), Enos Slaughter (VC), Jim Rice (elected by BBWAA), Ted Simmons, Willie Davis, Jose Cruz. He’s right in borderline territory.
Would you vote Todd Helton into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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