Todd Helton has put the speculation to rest with his announcement that, “it’s time.” As reported by Troy Renck, Helton left no room for hope that he would be back next season:
Yes, this is it. It just seems like it’s time. It’s a young man’s game. I am 40 years old. I am looking forward to doing something else besides baseball. Whatever that may be. I am not sure yet. I am going to start a new chapter not only in my life but our lives. It will be different. It will be difficult, but it will be exciting.”
He made the announcement with his wife Christy by his side. She gave her blessing, but said she wouldn’t be surprised if he had gone another season:
I kind of correlate it to winning in Vegas. When you are up and feeling good and, in his case, hitting well, I would not have blamed him if he said he wanted to play another year. To be able to decide is such a blessing. There was a year that him going up and down the stairs was just painful to watch. Now, it’s not because of injury and nobody wanting him. He’s done his best, and now he’s going to live his life.
While his glove has never wavered, his bat and back have let him down with more frequency over the past few seasons. He is unanimously loved by both players and fans alike. His humility kept him from announcing his intentions at the beginning of the season, shying away from the spotlight and public accolades that have been showered upon Mariano Rivera this season and Chipper Jones last season. Helton did bask in the public outpouring after his 2,500 hit of his career, tipping his hat and waving at the crowd, but one could tell he would was relieved once the hype was over.
While it is difficult to see him end his career with his average (.244) so far below his career average (.317), there is no denying that he is the greatest Rockies player of all time, one of the greatest first baseman to play the game and if he played in any other stadium he would be a shoo-in to the Hall.