Throughout his career, he received many awards and played in numerous all-star games. Before he played in the MLB, Helton was a quarterback at the University of Tennessee. He even played in front of NFL great Peyton Manning.
Todd Helton’s career in the MLB
The Rockies drafted Helton in the first round of the 1995 draft. During the 1997 season, he made his MLB debut. Helton played in 35 games in 1997 and had a .280 batting average with five home runs and 11 RBIs. In his first full season in 1998, Helton finished with a .315 batting average with 25 home runs. He finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Helton was starting to become one of the top players in the league early in his career.
During the 2000 season, Helton made his first all-star team, and he won his first Silver Slugger award. That year he finished with a .372 batting average, which led the league. That was arguably his best season. Not only did he lead the league in batting average, but he also led the league in RBIs (147), doubles (59), total bases (405), extra-base hits (103), slugging percentage (.698), and OPS (1.162). It’s not often that a player leads the league in that many offensive categories.
After that season, Helton made the all-star team four straight seasons. He also won multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. Helton could get the job done on offense and defense. The Rockies had something special with Helton. He was a fan favorite, and they enjoyed watching Helton play.
A look back at Todd Helton’s baseball career
Helton played until the age of 39. His final season was in 2013. Throughout his 17-year career, he batted .316 with 2,519 hits, 369 home runs, and 1,406 RBIs. He won the Hank Aaron Award in 2000, which recognizes the top hitter in the league, and he was also the MLB batting champion that year.
The Rockies retired Helton’s No. 17 jersey after his playing career was over. When you talk about some of the top baseball players in the Rockies’ organization, you have to mention Helton’s name. He did a lot for them throughout his career and continued to get better from his rookie season until his final season.
Todd Helton started over Peyton Manning at Tennessee
Before Helton played in the MLB, he was a two-sport athlete in college at Tennessee. On the football field, he played quarterback. Helton was teammates with NFL great Peyton Manning. Going into the 1994 football season, Helton was the second-string quarterback, and Manning was the third-string quarterback.
When the starting quarterback went down with an injury, Helton was the next man up—looking back at that football team, who would have known that they had two quarterbacks on that team who would be successful in their respected sports.
Helton was the starter for Tennessee until he injured his knee, and then Manning would take over for the rest of the season. Who would have known that these two were teammates on the same team and played the same position? Tennesse had two great athletes at quarterback on that team.