DENVER (KDVR) — Former Colorado Rockies franchise first baseman Todd Helton came so close to making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame but once again, did not get the nod.
Helton became eligible for HOF induction four years ago and has come up short every year. The members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America decide which players get a plaque in the Cooperstown shrine.
In his 17 years with the Rockies, Helton played 2,247 games and in his 7,962 at-bats, he cranked 369 home runs. He earned a spot on the All-Star team five times and was awarded the Silver Slugger Award four times.
While Coors Field is notoriously known as a batter’s paradise, Helton held his own even on the road. In 4,612 appearances at the plate outside Coors Field, Helton hit 142 homers. He also played superb defense which is evident by his three Golden Glove Awards.
Helton’s best year was 2000 when he led the MLB with 147 RBIs and a .372 batting average but still missed getting the most valuable player award.
Fred McGriff was already chosen to join the HOF Class of 2023 in December and third baseman Scott Rolen beat out Helton to join him. Helton missed the election by 11 votes.
Rules for election to HOF ballots
According to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, BBWAA election rules list the following requirements in order for a player to be an eligible candidate:
- Player must have been active in the MLB at some time during a period beginning 15 years before and ending five years prior to election
- Player must have played in each of 10 full MLB seasons
- Player has to be an inactive player from MLB at least five calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball
- In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six months after the date of death or after the end of the five year period, whichever occurs first
- Any player on the MLB ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate
Lone Rockies player in HOF
Former Rockies outfielder Larry Walker is the only Rockies player inducted into the HOF. He earned the spot in 2020 after receiving 76.6% of ballots. Walker, however, was not a franchise player. Although he spent a decade of his career with the Rockies, he ended it in St. Louis with the Cardinals.
Walker joined Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons, and the late Marvin Miller as part of the class of 2020.