Welcome to the first edition of Todd and the Todd-lers Thursday. The name comes fro the nickname of the 2004-2005 Rockies following the trade of Larry Walker when the Rockies consisted of Todd Helton and a bunch of young guys. Some of those young guys worked out very well, others not so much. Much like my Mashburn Mondays, I will show some Todd Helton cards along with a random "Todd-ler."
I had originally planned on making Thursdays Todd Helton only, but then I realized that after a couple of weeks it would become tedious and difficult to come up with original thoughts. So I am going the route of focusing on not just Helton, but also at least one random player that made their Colorado debut between 2000-2005. Let's rock and roll.
Total cards owned = 558
1996 Topps Chrome #13
Todd Helton was selected in 1995 by the Rockies with the 8th pick of the 1st round. Just about everyone knows the college trivia that Helton's injury led to Peyton Manning taking over at quarterback at Tennessee. However, one piece of NCAA trivia that you might not know is this. Todd Helton broke the NCAA record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched in a single season with 47 while acting as Tennessee's closer and continues to hold that record today. This card is his draft pick card from the inaugural Topps Chrome set. It's kind of cool to think that Helton has been around as long as Chrome sets.
Card grade - B
2001 MLB Showdown #145
Without a doubt, the best season of Helton's career was the 2000 season. He led the league in batting average, OBP, SLG, doubles, RBIs, total bases, and hits. He also won MLB Player of the Year from the Associated Press, Sporting News, and Baseball Digest. However in possibly the biggest farce in MVP voting history, Todd Helton finished 5th in NL MVP voting (his highest ranking to date) behind the "winner" NAMELESS SECOND BASEMAN (sorry his name does not appear on my blog for any reason). This card from the CCG MLB Showdown of which I am not a fan, but it was designed for the generation 10 years younger than me anyway.
Card grade - C-
2005 Studio Stars Gold #11 Serial Numbered 100/500
Despite the debacle that was last night's game, Todd Helton has been a great defensive first baseman throughout his career. He is currently the active leader in both putouts (22nd all time) and assists (5th all time) for all first basemen. With a couple more good seasons, he has a chance to take over the career assist lead from Hall of Famer Eddie Murray. He is 243 away as of today and averages a little over 100 per season. This card is from a set I really miss, Donruss Studio. The card itself is printed on clear acetate and has rounded corners. It really pops.
Card grade - A-
TODD-LER OF THE WEEK
Total Cards Owned = 32
Rockies Debut - 2005
2006 Topps Chrome #292
Spilly was picked by the Rockies in the 7th round in the 2002 draft. He never really considered a top prospect in the organization due to his age, but his stats made him impossible to overlook. He appeared in 1 game with the Rockies in 2005 after hitting .340 in AA and AAA combined. This card is kind of strange in that this is a Chrome card that does not have a counterpart in the flagship set. I imagine it was something similar to the Alex Gordon debacle of that year.
Card grade - B
2009 Topps Gold #439 Serial Numbered 1867/2009
Spilborghs spent the next few years shuttling back and forth between the majors and AAA Colorado Springs because he could never quite crack the lineup on a regular basis. He was a very serviceable injury replacement from 2006-2008. This card is one of favorite Rockies cards from the 2009 set, despite Spilly being basically unrecognizable. I just love those "moment in time" cards.
Card grade - A
2010 Upper Deck Season Biography #SB113
In 2009, Spilly settled into his role as Seth Smith's platoon partner and general backup outfielder. He just never really matched his minor league production in the bigs and would probably be best identified as the cliched AAAA player, too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors. He is currently on the Rangers AAA club in Round Rock and is continuing to hit the lights out in AAA. This card commemorates a game in which Spilborghs hit a bases-loaded triple and threw out a runner at third from right field. There were two different parts of 2010 Upper Deck I loved, the Ballparks subset and this insert set. I like the year end review-type sets because its shows the history of that particular season.
Card grade - A
I hope you guys enjoyed this snippet of the beginning of the 21st century and I think I made a good choice of adding players to the discussion. As always, thanx for reading.