Monday Rockpile: Todd Helton's final numbers

Doug Pensinger

After a week filled with goodbyes to number 17, we'll now take one last look at numbers that tell his story.

Throughout the entire 2013 season, and especially over the last week, teammates, coaches, fans, and even opponents have given their heartfelt farewells to Todd Helton.  We've known this moment was coming for some time, but now that it's here, it seems surreal.

Many fans, myself included, have never watched a season of Rockies baseball without Todd Helton; but now this cold hard reality has set in. The next time Colorado takes the field will be opening day, and for the first time since 1997, someone other than Helton will take first base.

It's all over, and with Helton's career numbers locked in stone, let's take one final look at them.

.316 - Todd Helton's career batting average. He hit .300 or better 12 times, including ten years in a row from 1998 to 2007. His best year was in 2000 when he hit .372 and won the batting title.

.414 - Todd Helton's career on base percentage. Ultimately, this is one of Todd's greatest numbers. He finishes 26th all time in this category and Joey Votto is now the only active qualified player with a higher mark in this field.  In the eight year period running from 2000 through 2007, Helton's on base percentage was a staggering .442, second only to a juiced up Barry Bonds.

.953 - Todd Helton's final career OPS. He ranks 20th all time.

.996 - Todd Helton's fielding percentage. That's good for sixth all time among qualified first basemen.

1 - The number of teams Todd Helton played for in his career.

"Because I am a Rockie"

1.016 - Todd Helton's OPS in August and September. It's too bad the Rockies were almost never playing meaningful baseball during these months in Todd's career, because he tended to take his game to another level here. In September of 2007 when the Rockies made their magical run, Helton's OPS was 1.118

2 - The number of post season appearances for number 17.

3 - The spot in the batting order Todd Helton appeared in most. It's also where he batted yesterday for old time's sake.

4.08 - The average number of pitches per plate appearances Helton saw in is career.

7 - The number of Todd Helton walk off home runs. The most famous and important of which came in September of 2007 against Takashi Saito as it lit the fuse to Rocktober. (Seven is also the number of grand slams Helton smacked in his career, including two just last season.)

8 - The pick the Rockies used in the first round of the 1995 draft to select Todd Helton. Interestingly enough, it's also the pick they will receive in the 2014 draft after finishing in a four way tie at 74 wins with the Mets, Blue Jays, and Brewers. If the Rockies had won one more game in 2013, they would have been picking 12th next spring, but instead, they have the same pick that started Todd Helton's career as a Rockie on the day Todd Helton's career ended as a Rockie. Ah, the baseball circle of life.

14.1 - Todd Helton's career BB%, which is 1.7% higher than his career K% of 12.4.

16 - The number of consecutive seasons Todd Helton was the opening day first baseman for the Rockies.

17 - The only number Todd Helton ever wore at the major league level.

37 - The number of triples for Todd, including one in his cycle from June of 1999. Interestingly enough, 37 is also the number he finished with in another category you need speed to pile up numbers - Stolen bases.

47.8 - Todd Helton's career WPA according to fangrpahs. Helton posted a WPA north of four six times including an astounding 8.87 number from that ridiculous season he had in 2000.

48 - The number of home runs Helton hit against the Dodgers, 13 more than against any other team.

61.3 - Todd Helton's career "Wins Above Replacement" according to baseball reference.

132 - Todd Helton's career wRC+.

369 - The number of home runs Helton hit in his career. The power tailed off during the last few seasons (Todd never hit more than 15 home runs after 2007), but from the six year period from 1999 through 2004, Helton belted at least 30 long balls every season.

417 - The number of teammates Todd had in his career. 131 of them are still active. (Despite not playing a game with him until his tenth season in the majors, Troy Tulowitzki is the teammate Todd ended up playing the most games alongside.)

592 - The number of doubles Helton hit in his career. That's good for 16th all time, and it puts him just 13 doubles short of 11th all time.

998 - The number of extra base hits Helton had in his career. (I was holding out hope he could reach 1,000 until the very end.)

1,401 - The number of runs Todd Helton scored.

1406 - The number of RBI's Todd Helton recorded in his career, including an amazing 147 in 2000 and 146 in 2001.

2,247 - The number of games Todd Helton played in during his illustrious career.

2,519 - The number of hits Todd Helton finished his career with, including the final 99 he added to his total in 2013.

4,292 - The number of total bases Helton racked up throughout his career.

48,775 - The number of fans who attended Todd Helton's final home game at Coors last Wednesday to celebrate a brilliant 17 seasons.

Countless - The number of outstanding memories Todd has provided Rockies fans around the world with over the years.  Thanks for all of them Todd, I'll miss you.

* * * * * *

Buster Olney tweeted the following this morning...

However, changes to the front office could mean many, many different things, including a reshuffling. So until something concrete surfaces, we don't have much here.  It's certainly something to keep an eye on though.

Links

There's several good Todd Helton pieces today.

Troy Renck on Helton's work ethic and what it meant to shaping the franchise.

Troy Renck again on Helton before he reached the majors.

Troy Renck again on Helton's last day in the majors. (This one's got a couple of good, quick stories involving how much respect others had for Helton right up until the end)

Patrick Sounders looks towards Helton's life after baseball.

Renck looks at what the Rockies need to do to eventually become World Series contenders. (Renck must be a busy man)

If you like MLB elimination games, this is the week for you. One team will be eliminated from World Series contention during each of the next three nights in what has the potential to be three historical days of baseball. The action starts tonight in Texas as the Rays and Rangers battle it out for the second Wild Card slot. On Tuesday, the Pirates make their return to the post season for the first time in 21 years in the NL Wild Card  elimination game against the Reds.  Then on Wednesday, Cleveland will host the winner of tonight's Rays / Rangers game in the AL WIld Card elimination game. Here's a link to the entire post season schedule.

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