Greatest Rockies Sluggers of All-Time
Matt Holliday 2007 interview
The Colorado Rockies have only been a major league team since 1993, but they have fielded a few really good teams, including 2007 when they stormed to the finish line and made it to the World Series for the first time. The Rockies play at Coors Field in Denver, a hitter's ballpark, so there are a few players who have enjoyed playing there to the tune of 200 or 300 career home runs. Here is a list of the Rockies' Top 10 in home runs to date:
Todd Helton (310)-Todd Helton has been the Rockies first baseman since 1997 and has been as solid a hitter as they come. Helton has hit 310 career homers to date and leads the Rockies all-time in that category. He hit a career high 49 homers in 2001, but his best overall season was 2000, when Helton hit only 42 homers but had career best numbers in batting average (.372) and runs batted in (147).
Larry Walker (258)-Larry Walker was a decent player in Montreal, but when he signed with the Rockies before the 1995 season, Walker immediately took to the friendly thin air of Coors Field. Walker played for the Rockies from 1995 to 2004 and ranks second in team history with 258 home runs. His best season was in 1997 when he won the NL MVP Award by batting .366 with 49 homers (career high) and 130 RBI (also a career best).
Vinny Castilla (239)-Third baseman Vinny Castilla is another player who had some great years in Colorado but could not duplicate those numbers when he hit the free agent market. Castilla ranks third in Rockies history with 239 homers, and his best season there was 1998, when he had career highs in batting average (.319), home runs (46) and RBI (144). But unfortunately for Castilla, that was the year of the Great Home Run Race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and Vinny finished 11th in the NL MVP voting.
Dante Bichette (201)-Outfielder Dante Bichette also had a few great seasons in Colorado and he helped the Rockies reach their first playoff berth in 1995 as the wild card team. Bichette still ranks fourth in team history with 201 homers, and his best season was in 1995, when he hit a career best.340 with 40 homers (also a career high) and 128 RBI.
Andres Galarraga (172)-Andres Galarraga, like Walker, enjoyed some great success after moving from Montreal to Colorado (by way of St. Louis). Galarraga played for the Rockies from 1993 to 1997 and in those five seasons belted 172 home runs, which ranks him fifth in team history. Galarraga hit .370 his first season in Colorado, but his best overall year was 1996, when Andres hit .304 with 47 home runs and 150 runs batted in.
Matt Holliday (117)-Matt Holliday only began his major league career in 2004, but already he ranks sixth in Rockies' history with 117 home runs. Holliday is one of the game's brightest sluggers as I write this, and if he stays healthy and in Denver, he could easily top this list in a few years. Holliday's best season was 2007, when he had career high numbers in batting average (.340), home runs (36) and RBI (137).
Ellis Burks (115)-Ellis Burks was a journeyman outfielder and designated hitter, who played in Colorado from 1994 to 1998. Burks always had a great hitting stroke and ranks seventh in franchise history with 115 home runs in a Rockies uniform. But he enjoyed the best season of his career in 1996 while with the Rockies with career bests in batting average (.344), homers (40) and RBI (128).
Garrett Atkins (82)-Third baseman Garrett Atkins began his major league career in 2003, and has already become a valuable player for the Rockies. Currently Atkins ranks eighth in team history with 82 homers, and his best season so far was 2006, when he batted .329 with 29 home runs and 120 runs batted in, all career high numbers.
Brad Hawpe (77)-Outfielder Brad Hawpe is a very good hitter who began his major league career in 2004 and is currently (in 2008) with the team as its right fielder.
Hawpe has 77 career homers already and his best season so far was 2007, when he hit .291 with career highs in homers (29) and RBI (116).
Preston Wilson (57)-Preston Wilson only played one full season in Colorado (2003) but he still ranks tenth in team history with 57 homers. In that 2003 season, Wilson had a career year, with highs in average (.282), home runs (36) and RBI (141).