Helton to retire after 17 years with Rockies
PHOENIX (AP) — Todd Helton will retire at the end of the season after spending 17 years with the Colorado Rockies and setting franchise records in nearly every offensive category.
The 40-year-old first baseman announced his decision after a 9-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday night. Almost fittingly, he had a double in his only hit of the night, the 586th of his career.
"For 17 years number '17' has been the icon of Colorado Rockies baseball," Rockies owner Dick Monfort said in a statement. "Todd will be missed and our hope is he will be a part of our Colorado baseball family for many more years to come."
Helton is a career .317 hitter and has 367 home runs, 1,397 RBIs, 1,394 runs, a .415 on-base percentage and a .539 slugging percentage in 2,235 career games. He was an All-Star from 2000 to 2004 and will end his career as the Rockies' leader in games, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, runs and walks.
Earlier this month, Helton became the 96th player in major league history to reach the 2,500-hit milestone. He joins Hall of Famer Stan Musial as the only players in major league history with at least 2,500 hits, 550 doubles, 350 home runs and a .310 or higher career batting average.
Helton has been bothered by back trouble in recent years, hitting a career-low .238 in 2012 and leading to speculation that this could be his final season in purple pinstripes.
In February, Helton found himself in the news when he was charged with driving under the influence and careless driving, but prosecutors dropped those charges under a plea deal. He was sentenced to a year of probation along with 24 hours of community service.
Although he struggled early this season, Helton has raised his average to .244.
His final game at Coors Field will be Sept. 25 against the Boston Red Sox, who swept the Rockies during the 2007 World Series.