Past & Present: Helton's road to 2,500

Todd Helton gets ready to take the field after collecting his 2,500th hit on Sunday. - Dustin Bradford

Taking a trip back through Todd Helton's 2,500 career hits.

On Sunday, Todd Helton became the 96th player in MLB to accumulate 2,500 hits in his career in true Helton fashion, with a two-strike opposite field double. Here's a look back at some of the Toddfather's other milestone hits throughout his career.

First hit

Date: August 2, 1997
Location: Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
Opposing Pitcher: Francisco Cordova

The 23-year-old left fielder, yes he played left field, out of Tennessee got his first hit in his Major League debut. With the Rockies holding a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth and Andres Galarraga on first with one out, Helton blooped a single into left field. Helton would hit his first career home run later in the game, which ended up being a 6-5 Rockies loss.

100th hit

Date: July 5, 1998
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Opposing Pitcher: Andy Ashby

Six weeks shy of his 25th birthday and now at first base, Helton notched the 100th hit of his career against the division-rival Padres. With the Padres leading 1-0 in the top of the second, he launched a solo home run, the 18th of his career, into the right-field stands off of Andy Ashby. However, Ashby shut down the Rockies from there, allowing just two runs in a complete game as the Padres won, 7-2.

500th hit

Date: July 18, 2000
Location: Coors Field
Opposing Pitcher: Mark Mulder

Helton got hit number 500 in the midst of the best season of his career at age 26. In fact, on July 18 it was already his 122nd hit of the 2000 season and raised his average to .382. With two on and one out in the bottom of the fourth and Oakland already holding a 1-0 lead, Helton lined a single to center, scoring Mike Lansing to tie the game. Helton would have an RBI double later in the game as the Rockies routed the A's, 18-3.

1,000th hit

Date: April 29, 2003
Location: Coors Field
Opposing Pitcher: Chris Reitsma

Helton got his 1,000th hit before his 30th birthday. With the Rockies holding a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, Helton hit a sharp single to center, his second hit of the game, moving Jay Payton to third. Helton then scored on Preston Wilson's three-run home run and the Rockies took a 10-5 victory over the Reds.

1,500th hit

Date: September 2, 2005
Location: Coors Field
Opposing Pitcher: Jeff Weaver

The 1,500th hit of Helton's career was the 268th home run of his career. With the Rockies leading 5-1, the 32-year-old led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run against the Dodgers' Jeff Weaver. It was his second long ball of the game and 17th of the 2005 season. The Rockies cruised to an easy win on that Friday night, beating the Dodgers 11-3.

2,000th hit

Date: May 19, 2009
Location: Turner Field, Atlanta, GA
Opposing Pitcher: Jair Jurrjens

At the age of 35, Helton got his 2,000th hit in the season that saw him make his second trip to the playoffs. With two outs in the top of the third and the Rockies trailing 4-1 (not the best outing by Jason Hammel), Helton drove an 0-2 pitch from Jurrjens to left-center for a single, moving Dexter Fowler to third. However, Helton's milestone hit came in a loss as the Rockies dropped the game to the Braves, 8-1.

2,500th hit

Date: September 1, 2013
Location: Coors Field
Opposing Pitcher: Curtis Partch

A week and a half after his 40th birthday, Helton became the 96th player in MLB history to reach the 2,500 hit plateau. He did it in the bottom of the seventh inning with nobody out and the Rockies leading 7-2 against Reds reliever Curtis Partch. On the seventh pitch of the at bat, Helton drove the 584th double of his career down the left field line. He was stranded at second, but the Rockies went on to take a 7-4 win.

Helton's career as a Rockie has been second to none, and these are just a few of the many highlights. You can see more of them in this video put together by the team to celebrate his 2,500th hit.

It's been a great ride for Helton and the Rockies, and it's a bittersweet one to see coming to an end.

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