Following a disappointing 1999 season, the Colorado Rockies were set to undergo a seismic shift.
Having already traded Ellis Burks in the summer of ’98, Dante Bichette was next to be dealt away in late October to the Cincinnati Reds; finally, Vinny Castilla was shipped to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Of the original five members of Blake Street Bombers that brought professional baseball in Denver to the forefront, only Larry Walker remained.
Then, Todd Helton showed up as the force for the next generation to compile the best season of his 17-year career.
After four walks in the previous game against the New York Mets, the 26-year-old did some stroking against the Montréal Expos.
First, it was two homers against starting pitcher Dustin Hermanson, one to right field and one to left field; then, it was another long ball off reliever Anthony Telford to record the first three-homer game of his career.
Walker, Jeffrey Hammonds – acquired from the Reds for Bichette – and four Expos players combined to tie the record for most home runs (10) by both teams in a single Rockies game.
Colorado would win 15-8 at home and Todd Helton went on to compile 8.9 bWAR, a career-high, on his way to finishing fifth in the National League MVP race thanks to leading the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Modern Day Heroes
Nolan Arenado wallops two home runs in an 11-4 defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019 for his eighth multi-homer game of his seven-year career.
Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl smack back-to-back home runs to lead off the game in Wrigley Field in 2018. Jon Gray gives up a solo shot to Anthony Rizzo and cruises through seven inning during the Rockies 3-1 win over the Cubs.
Do You Remember?
Eric Young Sr. reaches base three times via a hit and two base on balls, but is caught stealing three times in 1993, still the most in franchise history.
In 2002, Denny Neagle tosses eight scoreless inning against his former club as Colorado defeats Pittsburgh in a shutout, 6-0. On the previous night, fellow left-handed free agent acquisition Mike Hampton also combines for a shutout against the Pirates.
Tim Hudson lashes an RBI-single in the second inning and does the rest in his complete game one-hitter on this date in 2006 during Atlanta’s 2-0 victory.
San Diego records 14 runs on 14 hits leading to Arenado setting the Rockies all-time mark for most total chances in a game (11) by a third baseman in 2015.
On This Day In Baseball History
In 1991, Rickey Henderson passes Lou Brock to move into first as the major league career stolen base leader with his 939th steal and a 44-year-old Nolan Ryan hurls his seventh and last no-hitter of his 27-year career.