I was trying to come up with something to write about and I read an article about how Todd Helton, who for 15 years has been the anchor in the Rockies franchise, may be close to the end of his career.  Although he is having a stellar season this year, his stats of the previous few years depict another story.  One of a mighty hitter, losing a step.

This post is not going to be about how many years he has left in him, it’s going to be, is he Hall of Fame material?  There was a time in the early part of the 00’s that I would have said, absolutely if his numbers continue the way they have been continuing.  The around 2004 the power numbers dipped and they have never come back.  There has always been talk of him being a steroid user, but time after time he has denied it.

My take on his career is simple, he’s not a 3000 hits guy, he’s not a 500 home run guy (or a 400 home run guy for that matter).  So it’s not automatic. No MVP, three Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards, just not enough in my opinion.  Only five All Star selections, which is the baseline where I would even consider to be Hall of Fame material.  However he is a Sabermetrics hero, 47th All time career batting average, 17th all time in on base percentage, 25th all time in slugging percentage, and 13th all time in slugging percentage plus on base percentage.

His stats are closest to Edgar Martinez, Will Clark and Johnny Mize.  While all of them had brilliant careers, they are simply not Hall of Fame material.  I’m going to be brutally honest, not only is he not Hall of Fame material, he’s probably not going to last on the ballot long.  I’m not going to lie, his average is outstanding, but really does he belong in the same building as the greats? No he doesn’t in my opinion.

I think that society as a whole has become more lenient to voting in players of late.  Blyleven was an outstanding pitcher, he just isn’t Hall of Fame worthy.  Toss Andre Dawson in that mix as well.  Great hitter, just doesn’t belong with the greats of all time.  Personally I feel the Hall of Fame should be the greatest ever to play the game.  The litmus test for me is simple, Was this hitter in the same league as Ruth, Ripken, Gwynn, Brett, Mantle, etc..  Unfotunately for Todd, it’s an emphatic no.

Todd Helton will always be one of my all time favorite players.  He took a Rockies franchise that was floundering and became it’s first big star.  He carried the team on his back for years and although that makes him a very good player, he is just not a Hall of Famer.  So I throw it out to my readers, can you make any argument that would make him Hall worthy?  Or is your opinion the same as mine?

8 responses »

  1. Mike D says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and take a stance. I feel that with the era of baseball we incurred in the past 20+ years, there will be a different standard slowly put in place to determine what makes a Hall of Famer. And I think we have started to see that with the likes of Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven inducted. Consistency will take precedence over eye-popping ROTO stats.
    Your arguments about Helton versus a Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle (your e.g.’s) certainly don’t merit the same adulation. But when you look at just how dominant Helton was from 1998 to 2004, he stacked up against some of the greatest of all-time. And your statistics with meaningful baseball numbers (mainly the OBP), gives him steam.
    When it comes to looking at a player for what he was, guys like Edgar Martinez and Todd Helton, I feel, will get a second look because they consistently produced over a long period of time.

    • chemgod says:

      I guess my point is Shouldn’t the Hall of Fame contain only the best of the best? It’s ok to go a year or two without an inductee.

  2. Ryan G says:

    The HOF should contain the best of their eras, for sure. But the HOF isn’t just about numbers, it’s about fame and contribution to the game. Players like Phil Rizzuto made it more for being famous than an outstanding player. But I believe Rizzuto belongs there because he is someone who was important to the game in some way. Blyleven and Dawson are still a couple of the best players of their time. Blyleven struck out 3701 batters, and would have been a 300 game winner had he played with better teams. Dawson was a fielding leader winning eight gold gloves, ROY, MVP, and four Silver Sluggers. He had a respectable average, too, and hit 438 home runs.

    Andre Dawson is important for another reason – he and Gary Carter were national stars for the young Expos team, which in my mind counts highly, because they are contributing the game by bringing life and the spotlight to a new team. Todd Helton is similar in this way. While Galarraga, Castilla, and Bichette put up some numbers in the franchise’s first years, Helton is the Rockies’ first homegrown star. Larry Walker has a place in the franchise’s history too – together the two of them are what Carter and Dawson were for the Expos.

    This doesn’t mean that Walker and Helton are HOF material. Their accomplishments have been overshadowed by Griffey, Bonds, Thomas, Jeter, and Pujols, to name a few. Like Blyleven, though, I can see Helton building up momentum over the years. He appears to be steroid-free, which makes him that much better in a time when so many players were juicing up. Clean, productive, and a hometown hero says eventual HOF to me.

  3. Nick says:

    As much as I love Helton, I would say no as well. He was a helluva of a player though.

    I think he’ll stay on the ballot longer than you think. It depends on the voters and how much they value the sabermetrics of the game. I think they’ll love his defensive numbers (pretty good first basemen) and his average and OBP. I can see him staying on for a few years, but his peak percentage might fall just sort of 50%.

  4. real slow says:

    he has the stats. put him in.

  5. real slow says:

    he is in with his stats

  6. Charlie Freret says:

    you compare him to Johnny Mize- well, Mize is in the HOF. Helton’s states are better than Mize so yes he should and will, eventually, be inducted into the HOF (maybe by the Old-Timers committee.

  7. Thomas Leach says:

    DUDE helten is a hall famer, are you crazy look what place he is in for all time doubles 22place yep. Also people need to remeber how CLUTCH he was, it doesnt always matter about the stats but how he helped the colorado rockies go to their first ever world series. Its funny how the voters for the hall of fame only look at stats more often then how they were good overall players.I bet you none of the voters have ever watched a game of baseball but hear from diffrent people on how good a player is, and the people they hear from are usely red sox people, phillies people, yANKS PEOPLE . Also TODD HELTON SINCE HE PLAYS FOR THE ROCKIES ONLY GOT 3GOLD GLOVES PEOPLE HE SHOULD HAVE LIKE 8, LOOK AT HIS FIELDING PERSENTAGE OVER HIS PLAYING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REALLY. JUST BECAUSE HE PLAYS FOR THE COLORADO ROCKIES DOESNT MEAN YOU PAY ANY LESS ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lastly I dont want to hear any of that bullshit about todd helton taking an tipe of drug, really just because the rockies have a hall of fame player YOU WANT TO PUT HIM DOWN REALLY!! YOUR JOKIN REALLY!!!!!!!!!!

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