40 year old Todd Helton will not be returning to the Rockies next season, as he has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season. Helton has had a good career, and has a "shot" to make the Hall of Fame.
Helton has 2,505 hits, 367 home runs, and a lifetime .317 batting average over seventeen years, all with the Rockies. This season Helton has played exceptionally well for a 40 year old, hitting .244/.315/.408 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI. People speculated that Helton would return for an eighteenth season, due to the fact that he still can be a force in the MLB.
Helton has nine home games left in Colorado, and will be missed very much, as he has been in the Rockies organization since 1995, just their 3rd season in the big leagues. He has been a big part of their 20 year history and will be widely missed among all Rocky fans everywhere.
Could Helton be inducted into the hall of fame?
I think Todd Helton has been one of the greatest active players in recent memory. A 61.1 WAR puts him in 8th of current players' WAR. Playing in Colorado definitely helps his overall hitting numbers, but his WAR really shows how well he is overall, whether or not he's playing in Coors Field or not. Hitters behind him in WAR? Ichiro, Chase Utley, and Torii Hunter, just to name a few. Helton has been one of the top current players, and the WAR is definitely a stat to show that.
Helton also has five All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers, and three Gold Gloves. He has also finished in the MVP voting five times. His best season was in 2000, when he batted .372/.463/.698 with 42 HR, 147 RBI, 59 Doubles, and 216 Hits. He didn't win MVP that season (can you believe that?!?) and finished in 5th.
So, do I think Helton will get into the Hall of Fame? I honestly believe that it's up to the voting, and who's nominated on a year to year basis. In weaker ballots, yes I think Helton would be voted in. In stronger ballots, I think he wouldn't. But, his .317 career batting average has me sold. I think he should be in the hall.