Knoxville native Todd Helton falls short in Baseball Hall of Fame vote
Helton was a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove Award winner.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville native Todd Helton did not get the call he was hoping for Tuesday evening.
Helton, who appeared in 72.2% of Baseball Hall of Fame ballots, fell just shy of the 75% needed in his fifth year of eligibility.
The Central High School graduate has been trending in the right direction over the first four years of his eligibility on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Hall of Fame ballot. Last year, he got 52% of the vote.
Helton played his entire 17-year MLB career with the Rockies, which means he played all of his home games at the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field.
A five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Helton holds the Rockies’ club records for hits (2,519), home runs (369), doubles (592), walks (1,335), runs scored (1,401), runs batted in (RBIs, with 1,406), games played (2,247) and total bases (4,292), among others.
Helton was a great hitter. In 4,612 road plate appearances, the slugging first baseman hit .287 with 142 home runs.
His .855 OPS away from his home ballpark is higher than Hall of Famers Dave Winfield (.841), Eddie Murray (.838), Rickey Henderson (.836), Tony Gwynn (.835), Al Kaline (.827) and George Brett (.826), among others. Helton’s .386 OBP on the road is higher than several Hall of Famers.
Helton was much more than a superb hitter. He played great defense at first base, as well. That’s evidenced by his three career Gold Glove Awards (2001, ‘02 and ‘04).
The 1992 Central High School graduate posted a batting average above .500 in his prep career and turned down a reported $450,000 signing bonus from the San Diego Padres to enroll at the University of Tennessee.
On the mound, Helton notched 100 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.34 in 65.2 innings as a senior. As one of the South’s top prep football quarterbacks, he was chosen as Tennessee’s Class AAA Mr. Football.
Helton’s No. 3 jersey was retired by the Vols on Jan. 30, 2008.
Copyright 2023 WVLT. All rights reserved.