(This is part of a series on retired numbers, with somewhat of a focus on Retired Number Bandits — players who wore a number that was later retired at any point after the person for whom it was retired first wore it. See the introduction for more information and explanation on Bandits.)
The Colorado Rockies are one of seven teams that have retired at least one number and never had an official Retired Number Bandit. Like most of those seven, this is mostly due to not retiring very many numbers.[table “” not found /]
Todd Helton, 17
Helton is the career franchise leader in nearly every offensive category. He played his entire 17-year career with the Rockies, with his best year coming in 2000 when he led the National League in hits (216) and on-base percentage (.463) and led the majors in doubles (59), RBIs (147), batting average (.372), slugging percentage (.698), OPS (1.162), and total bases (405). He led the NL in WAR that year too (8.8), but he finished fifth in the MVP voting because his offense came in the offense-rich environment of Denver.
Helton’s career numbers put him right on the cusp of Hall of Fame worthiness, but the Colorado atmosphere is likely to impact that vote as well. The Rockies retired Helton’s number 17 just after he retired.
Here’s Helton with a classic hidden-ball trick:
Unofficial: Darryl Kile, 57
While they have not formally retired it, the Rockies (along with the Houston Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals) have not issued number 57 since the death of former pitcher Kile in 2002. Jason Jennings wore 57 for the Rockies in 2001, after Kile’s tenure with the Rockies but before his death.
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