Baseball

Colorado Rockies Mount Rushmore

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The Colorado Rockies Mount Rushmore is the third in a series revealing the top four players for each franchise as selected by writers and fans.

The Colorado Rockies are known for their altitude-assisted slugging prowess, and their Mount Rushmore reflects this reputation. The four players selected for sculpting have a whopping 1,050 Denver home runs shared among them.

Franchise History

What defines a franchise?

Denver’s appearances in professional baseball span three centuries. The Denvers were the first to call the Colorado capital home, and the Mountain Lions Mountaineers, Denvers, Gulfs, Grizzlies, Bears, and Zephyrs followed suit. Most historians and fans count these as distinct entities rather than one club telling a common Denver baseball story.

For the purposes of this series, OTH is embracing the latter idea. These teams represented the mile-high city in professional baseball. They played with Denver or Colorado written proudly on their uniforms. They share a common fanbase that enjoyed successes and lamented failures.

This series of articles serves, in part, as an attempt to recapture the legacy of those earlier teams. OTH recognizes that while an owner may move the corporate structure, the legacy belongs to the fans and the city for which the team played.

The NBA and NFL have recognized the validity behind this line of thinking. The modern Charlotte Hornets inherited the legacy of the Hornets that moved to New Orleans. The modern Cleveland Browns inherited the legacy of the Browns that moved to Baltimore. Now Rob Manfred and MLB need to do the same.

Founded

1885 in the minors; 1993 in the majors

Team Names

National League pennant (1)

Junior World Series titles (2)

American Association pennants (7)

  • 1957
  • 1971
  • 1976
  • 1977
  • 1981
  • 1983
  • 1991

Western League pennants (6)

  • 1886
  • 1888
  • 1900
  • 1911
  • 1912
  • 1913

Current Ballpark

Coors Field

First Ballpark

Larimer Street Baseball Park

Colorado Rockies Mount Rushmore

After counting votes from OTH writers and baseball fans, here are the top four players in Colorado Rockies history.

Todd Helton

  • Colorado Years: 1997-2013
  • Colorado Stats: 61.8 WAR, .316/.414/.539, 4,292 TB, 369 HR, 592 2B, 2,519 H

The Toddfather journeyed from Tennessee to Colorado to become the best ballplayer in Rockies history. Spending his entire career in Denver, Helton received votes for most valuable player in six different seasons, received four Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and earned five All-Star selections.

Larry Walker

  • Colorado Years: 1995-2004
  • Colorado Stats: 48.3 WAR, .334/.426/.918, 2,520 TB, 892 R, 258 HR

The British Columbian right fielder was the first true major league star in Denver. Walker brought a five-tool kit to the Mile High City, wowing crowds and critics alike. He was named MVP in 1997 and earned votes in five other Colorado campaigns.

Nolan Arenado

  • Colorado Years: 2013-2020
  • Colorado Stats: 40.2 WAR, .293/.349/.537, 235 HR, 293 2B, 130 Rfield

Nolan Arenado quickly won the hearts of Colorado’s faithful, only to see them dashed by a front office without a plan. Yet in his eight years at Coors, Arenado’s bat and glove both dazzled the diamond. In addition to the 130 runs from fielding he generated (winning a Gold Glove annually), the Californian led the National League in home runs three times, runs batted in twice, total bases twice, doubles once, and sacrifice flies once.

Troy Tulowitzki

  • Colorado Years: 2006-2015
  • Colorado Stats: 39.5 WAR, .299/.371/.513, 188 HR, 2,001 TB, 224 2B

The second Californian gracing the Rockies majestic Rushmore, Tulowitzki earned MVP votes in six glorious Colorado campaigns. A clubhouse leader, the shortstop proved a critical piece (even as a rookie) of the pennant-winning 2007 team. Tulowitzki went four for seven in a must-win against the San Diego Padres to earn the wild card spot that made a deep October run possible.

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Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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