Last night's farewell to Todd Helton reminded me why I watch the game and how I become a fan. Sure, I will always be a fan of Colorado sports teams -- when you are born there it is your birthright. But it is the great players sacrificing for the team that gets me to spend my money on jerseys and tickets. Todd is a main reason that I went out of my way to go to a Rockies game each year when I lived in South Carolina; he is a main reason why I bought MLB.tv for the first time many years ago; and he is a main reason I started reading this blog.
Great players are what people will remember about their team decades from now. While it would be nice to have the success of the Yankees, it is not going to happen. The game of baseball is difficult with a long season and many disappointments. Just look at the career of Stan 'The Man' Musial for instance. His Cardinals went to the World Series each of the first four full years with the team. For the next 18 seasons he did not even get to play a playoff game, with the team having five losing seasons in his last 10. For optimists out there, St. Louis won the World Series the year after he retired.
I guess that my point is that while success is nice, I hope that our team continues to find great players like Todd and tries to keep them as Rockies and build around them. While some players may leave for greener pastures and the front office may get rid of a few who are not truly great, it would be a disservice to young fans and old if the team constantly tries to improve its minor league prospects at the price of losing our baseball heroes. This is why I hope Troy Renck is correct and the team won't be trading either of our great players this off-season.
As to the blowout loss last night, this team has lost a lot of games this season so it shouldn't have come as a surprise. Todd's homer, the standing ovations, the pre-game, and the post-game should be what is remembered. That is what Todd Helton night was about.
If for some reason you would want to listen to Keith Law and Dan O'Dowd talk about the state of the franchise, here is that link. I apologize in advance.