After his fourth season in the big leagues, Carlos González was already a known commodity around MLB.

He had earned a Gold Glove Award, a Silver Slugger Award and finished third in the National League Most Valuable Player Award, all from the same dominant 2010 season.

The fact he had yet to make the All-Star Team was of minimal concern, but that missing feather in his cap surely seemed next.

In 2012, CarGo would finally earn that honor in special fashion.

The 26-year-old would be selected to start as the designated hitter for the NL and bat leadoff by manager Tony La Russa, who had returned to the dugout following his retirement upon St. Louis’ World Series win in 2011.

En route to earning this recognition, González slugged three home runs on this date in 2012 for the first time in his career during a 13-5 win over Houston.

He singled in his first at-bat of the game to join the shortlist of players with 13 total bases in a game for Colorado.

Not to be completely satisfied with breaking a few records, the Venezuelan outfielder kept going. By homering in his first at-bat the next night, he became only the 22nd major leaguer to hit a dinger in four straight at-bats.

May 29

Larry Walker, Andrés Galarraga and Dante Bichette clouted consecutive home runs in Miami on this date in 1997 during a 6-5 win. Marlins’ second baseman Kurt Abbott hit an inside-the-park homer, his second against the Rockies to become the only player with a pair against Colorado.

In 2003, Todd Helton walloped three home runs in a game for the second time in his career and his six runs batted in helped down the Dodgers, 12-5.

After cutting loose Clint Hurdle, Jim Tracy was named fifth manager of the franchise in 2009. Jason Marquis quickly supported his new skipper by spinning eight innings of shutout ball at Coors Field with Huston Street closing out the 3-0 win.

Chad Bettis nearly went the distance for a two-hit shutout. He’d be pulled after 104 pitches for reliever John Axford who did not give up a hit; however, he surrendered an unearned run on two errors in Colorado’s 4-1 victory over the Phillies in 2015.

In 2019, Chris Iannetta became the fifth player in club history to ground into a double play three times in a game, joining Jason Giambi (2012), Jeff Baker (2007), Todd Greene (2004), and Eric Young Sr. (1997).

May 30

In 2000, Helton became the 10th player in franchise history to steal home. He did it again later that season to become the only man with two.

The last time Colorado stole five bases in game came on this date in 2013 as Carlos González swiped three bags against Astros’ catcher Jason Castro while DJ LeMahieu and Dexter Fowler picked up one apiece.

May 31

In the first inning at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Galarraga smashed the ninth pitch he saw from Marlins’ starter Pat Rapp to hit the longest home run in franchise history, measured at an estimated 529ft on this day in 1997.

Ubaldo Jiménez defeated the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum by tossing a four-hit, complete game shutout over the San Francisco Giants in 2011. With nine strikeouts and two walks, the second CGSO of his season gave the 26-year-old his 10th win during the 4-0 victory.

The Rockies trounced the Red 17-4 thanks to a franchise record 14 extra-base hits back in 2016. Colorado would also tie the mark for most home runs in a game (6) and most HRs in a game (7).

Nolan Arenado notched three hits against the Toronto Blue Jay in 2019 to give him 45 hits in May, tying the third baseman for the sixth-most for a single month in franchise history and the most since Helton had 50 hits in August of 2000. Thanks to a pair of home runs, Trevor Story tallied seven-RBI in the Rockies 13-6 win.

Fun Fact

Eight days after Walker-Galarraga-Bichette combined for consecutive homers, the trio would do it again at home against the same Marlins in 1997.

On This Date In Baseball History

In 2009, the longest game in NCAA history is played as the Texas Longhorns outlast the Boston College Golden Eagles in 25 innings, 3-2. In the process, numerous records are set: 191 plate appearances, 171 at-bats, 42 strikeouts; Texas’ Travis Tucker and Michael Torres each had 12 at-bats; Texas first baseman Preston Clark had 33 putouts; and Austin Wood pitched 18 innings in relief for the win.

  • I would wager less than 99% of Rox fans (before today) would guess the franchise leader is steals of home is…Todd Helton. Weird but true fact that would never have occurred to me.

    I was watching that game in 1997 and when The Big Cat hit that to the upper seats in the upper deck at Joe Robbie I swore it was the longest homer I’d ever seen or heard of (this was of course pre-YouTube), but it was listed at something like 475 at the time. I figured then it was 525 or so. Glad to see it’s finally be acknowledged for the true monster it was. Felt like you could hear the crack of it all the way from Miami. And the look of Cat’s face. Still the longest I’ve seen, with deference to McGwire, Story and the rest. And one of the all-time best Rockies both on and off the field.

    • Hi, Chris. Thanks for the feedback.

      When I stumbled upon the strange fact of Helton having stolen home twice, I was rather surprised, too. Granted, the rarity of the feat likely favors a veteran player leading a franchise as not all SBs of home are created equal.
      For example, with runners on first and third, Helton could have been credited with a stolen base if the runner on first had attempted to steal second base and garnered a throw from the catcher. If Helton, went on the throw and scored safely, it’s considered a stolen base of home… not exactly the same as Jackie Robinson going home on the first movement by Whitey Ford and sliding under Yogi Berra’s tag in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series.

      Big Cat hit a monster home run that day in Miami. As someone who witnessed McGwire launching baseballs into the upper deck – just below where I was positioned – of Veterans Stadium during the 1996 Home Run Derby, I can say that not all estimations are created equal. Those shots into the upper deck are all well over 500ft and I too am glad Galarraga has had his record reinstated, so to speak.

      *Note: the hoopla made of Story’s 505ft homer from 2018 was that it marked the longest distance in a homer during the StatCast era. While more accurate in many ways, the original estimates prior to StatCast are all still standing.

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