Denver, CO. – Who are the top 7 all time Colorado Rockies players? Although the Rockies have only made the playoffs 3 times, we have been blessed with some incredible players. Looking back at the Blake Street Bombers, Todd and the Toddlers up to the current roster – how do they rank? Surprisingly this was a very difficult Top 7 to put together and some names may be omitted but added after a few years.
7. – Eric Young Sr. – EY as he is known in Denver will always be remembered for his lead off home run in the first home game in Rockies history. But he should also be remembered as a club leader playing second base for the Rockies from 1993 – 1997. During his time with the Rockies EY stole 180 bases and his best year was 1996 when he stole 53 bases, hit .324 and drove in 74 RBI. He won the silver slugger award and made his only all star appearance that year. He is also the father of current Colorado Rockie Eric Young Jr. who was blessed with his father’s speed.
6. – Jason Jennings – Jennings pitched for the Rockies from 2001-2006 before leaving to go to the Houston Astros. When Jason left the Rockies he held the club record with 58 wins all time and was passed by Aaron Cook (#5) for all time wins in 2010. In 2002 Jennings was voted the National League Rookie of the year and pitched in 941 innings for the Rockies and had an overall ERA of 4.74 in his time with the Colorado Rockies.
5. – Aaron Cook – Although Cook did not finish his career in strong fashion with the Rockies, he is surely one of the top 7 Colorado Rockies of all time. Aaron has more wins than any Rockies pitcher in club history as well as innings pitched with 1,312 1/3 overall. Cook was one of the rare Rockies pitcher who started with the organization (drafted in the second round in 1997) and was a Rockie through and through. In 2008 Cook made the all star team and even pitched 3 scoreless innings and may have been MVP if the NL had won. He finished 2008 with 16 wins and 96 strikeouts, still career highs for Cook.
4. – Vinny Castilla – As a member of the Blake Street Bombers, Vinny was a part of the inaugural Colorado Rockies team. Castilla played for the Rockies from 1993-1999 and again in 2004 and 2006. Vinny hit 40 home runs in 1996 and 1997 and hit 46 in 1998. Vinny was part of the 1995 wild card team and in 1996 he along with Ellis Burks and Andres Galarraga hit over 40 home runs, ranking as only the second team with three players to do so in MLB history. Vinny continues his run with the Rockies currently as a special assistant to the GM.
3. – Dante Bichette – Dante still remains one of the most loved Rockies of all time. Who can forget his walk off home run in the first game ever at Coors Field, pumping his fist knowing he hit it out of the park. Dante also hit the first home run in Rockies history against the New York Mets. As a part of the vaunted “Blake Street Bombers”, Bichette has his best season in 1995 making a run at the Triple Crown. Dante hit .340 with 40 home runs and 128 RBI – barely losing out in MVP voting to Barry Larkin. Dante can still be seen around the team at the Rockies Fantasy Camp as one of the coaches.
2. – Larry Walker – Walker was one of those gifted players that truly was a 3 tool player. He hit for power, was a gold glove outfielder and had one of the strongest arms in baseball. Larry actually grew up a hockey player with dreams of being an NHL goal tender and played baseball for fun. Walker began his MLB career with the Montreal Expos. Walker signed with the Rockies before the start of the 1995 season and became a part of the Blake Street Bombers. Larry helped the push to the playoffs in 1995 hitting .306 and hit 36 home runs with 101 RBI. 1997 was Walker’s best season hitting .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI and 33 stolen bases and won the NL MVP that year – the first Canadian born player to win the award. Needless to say Walker will always be in this top 7 list and still holds many hitting records with the Colorado Rockies.
1. – Todd Helton – Todd Helton is the Colorado Rockies. Helton was drafted 8th overall in the first round of the 1995 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies and made his Major League debut on August 1st 1997 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and hit his first home run in the 6-5 loss. Todd holds almost every hitting record with the Rockies and is slowly creeping up the MLB lists of greats in doubles and home runs. Until the incredible 21 day run in 2007 Helton had never made the playoffs. As we all know that year the Rockies made a run to the World Series with Todd jumping up and down like a kid while sweeping the Phillies and Diamondbacks. I have a signed picture of Todd with his hands raised to the heavens after picking the final out against the Diamondbacks to make it to the World Series. It will be awhile before someone knocks Todd out of the number one spot in Rockies history.
Honorable Mentions – Some of these players are current Rockies and will someday be in the Top 7 for sure. Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Ellis Burks, Matt Holliday, Andres Gallaraga, Jeff Francis, Yorvit Torrealba, Ubaldo Jimenez.
Let us know who your Top 7 Rockies of all time are even if you disagree with my list.
Denver Sports Chat – Kris Loco