The Rockies have been around for almost 30 years and in that time they have retired just two numbers, have one player enshrined in Cooperstown (with another on the way), and that’s about it. After seeing the news that Ichiro Suzuki was going to be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 2022, I couldn’t help but keep thinking that it’s time the Rockies start their own team Hall of Fame. Over the years we have seen numerous players and individuals wear purple and done amazing things for the franchise and it’s time for the club to honor these folks. So, let’s try and build the framework for the Rockies Hall of Fame.
Criteria for Election
First and foremost in terms of eligibility is service time with the team. For the purpose of the Rockies, I envision five years to be the ideal minimum for serious consideration for both players and personnel. Some players had strong three-year stints in Colorado, like Michael Cuddyer, but three years isn’t enough time for certain players to be considered Hall of Fame worthy.
In addition to service time, we’ll need to look at further stat criteria for candidates. The Milwaukee Brewers have an eligibility system for their Hall of Fame where a candidate must meet at least one of nine requirements to be eligible for the vote. I’ve decided to just incorporate their ideas into our own because they are quite helpful.
- 2,000 or more plate appearances
- 1,000 or more innings pitched
- 250 or more games pitched
- Winning a Most Valuable Player Award, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year Award, or Reliever of the Year Award (we’ll also keep ASG appearances and Gold Glove awards in mind)
- Managing a pennant-winning team
- Being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (automatically included)
- General Manager achieves a postseason appearance
While subject to change to an appropriate measure, these are a good baseline when it comes to choosing people that would be eligible to be inducted into the Rockies Hall of Fame. The club could always decide on other requirements that someone would need to meet, like community work and such, but this would be a good starting point to cut things down to those that are worthy of being inducted.
Location, Location, Location
Another question we need to figure out is where to put this thing. The obvious answer is to find a place in Coors Field to put it, but that could always prove difficult. I’m not quite sure of the logistics and I’d rather leave that to those with the power and insight but somewhere on the centerfield concourse feels right if that was the case. Otherwise, McGregor Square could be an ideal location to put a Hall of Fame if it’s not feasible to place the exhibit in the ballpark, it would just be disappointing to not have it conveniently located in the stadium like some other teams have.
Voting and Ceremony
When it comes to voting there are a couple of options we can do. The first is to just have the team itself select the inductees as it sees fit. That is the simplest solution but we’ve seen how long it took the Rockies to just retire Larry Walker’s number and we’d like to see more guys celebrated. The next option is for the members of the Colorado media to vote on the players while the club designates a Hall of Fame committee to select non-players to be unanimously inducted. The final option is to put out a list of candidates each year and allow the fans to vote on who will be inducted.
The ceremony would then take place during the season at Coors Field. The Larry Walker weekend in 2021 was a perfect example of how the team can approach this type of event. Spend the weekend honoring and celebrating the players that are being inducted, have some great promotion giveaways, hear some speeches, and top things off with a plaque unveiling. The only other thing that I ask for the celebration is that each Rockies Hall of Fame member gets a purple jacket. As an added bonus, have an “old-timers” game during the weekend celebration so that we can reunite with fan favorites of the past.
The Inaugural Class of the Rockies Hall of Fame
The following is a list of individuals I could see in the inaugural class, or that I would strongly consider being inducted at some point in time, but it is still not a comprehensive list of people that could make a strong case to be included.
- Keli McGregor
- Dan O’Dowd
- Bob Gebhard
- Don Baylor
- Clint Hurdle
The Blake Street Bombers
- Larry Walker
- Dante Bichette
- Vinny Castilla
- Andrés Galarraga
- Ellis Burks
The Todd Father
- Todd Helton
The true number “2”
- Troy Tulowitzki
The number “5”
- Matt Holliday
- Carlos González
*A number retirement could also be considered. I mean the Yankees have retired the number “8” twice.
- Jeff Francis
- Ubaldo Jiménez
- Jason Jennings
- Aaron Cook
- Jorge de la Rosa
- Brian Fuentes
- Matt Belisle
Future Inductees (after they retire)
- Charlie Blackmon
- Trevor Story
- Nolan Arenado
- D.J. LeMahieu
- Jon Gray
- Germán Márquez
While the ideas in this article aren’t perfect, it’s the concept that the Rockies should start putting into motion. If we want even more guys honored, then incorporate a Wall of Honor that recognizes the players that don’t quite meet the requirements listed in this article but still meant a lot to the team. Whatever the team decides, the point is that they need to be better at celebrating and recognizing their history. We can’t just focus on a couple of players and the 2007 season anymore, we need to celebrate our entire history and remember the individuals that made Rockies baseball special.
What other players and individuals would you like to see in the Rockies Hall of Fame? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!
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2022 is finally upon us, so Bleacher Report decided to look back at the 2012 draft and grade each team. The Rockies had five players reach the big leagues from that draft and only one of them is still with the team. David Dahl and Eddie Butler were both first-round picks that didn’t quite pan out like the team wanted, Tom Murphy found a new home in Seattle, and Matt Carasiti did his thing. The only player that has panned out decently is Scott Oberg, but unfortunately, medical issues have put his career in jeopardy. Overall, the Rockies received a retrospective “C” for their grade.
As 2022 dawns, Todd Helton showing progress in Hall of Fame voting | Rox Pile
We are just a few weeks from learning the results of the 2022 ballots, and during that time many folks will be keeping an eye on the Hall of Fame tracker on Twitter courtesy of Ryan Thibodaux. Rockies fans far and wide will be keeping an eye on Todd Helton’s progress on the 2022 ballot as the first baseman continues to make huge strides on the ballot. Through over 100 ballots that have been revealed, Helton is tracking at about 55% and it won’t be too long before we are celebrating another Rockie in Cooperstown.
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