Heir Apparent

Tulo is the Rockies’ franchise player, but how does he compare to his predecessor?

April 2011

While most of us were thankful to keep our jobs last year, Troy Tulowitzki signed a massive contract extension that will keep him in a Rockies uniform through 2020. Sound familiar? For more than a decade, the Rockies’ franchise was based around Todd Helton, a first-round draft pick in 1995 out of the University of Tennessee. And he delivered: In his first five years in the majors, he won a Gold Glove, went to two All-Star games, and was awarded two Silver Sluggers. His exploits earned him a nine-year, $141.5 million contract extension in 2003. But as Helton swings into the twilight of his career, Tulo has emerged as the Rockies’ next meal ticket. When it’s all said and done, the Rockies will have paid the two Ts more than $300 million. How do the two stack up? You decide.

Todd Helton
Jersey Number17
PositionFirst Base
Salary Earned (through 2010)$131.32 million
Money Still Owed by Rockies$20.5 million (plus $13.1 million spread over 2014–2023 at 3 percent interest)
Seasons with the Colorado Rockies14
HairLuscious mane, goatee
Walk-up Song Used for home At-bats in 2010"These Are My People" by Rodney Atkins
Cheese Factor of SongLOW We love you too, Todd.
On-field Performance (During the first five seasons with the Rockies):
Games Played665
Batting Average.325
Home Runs156
Fielding Percentage.996
Gold Gloves1
All-Star Appearances2
Silver Sluggers2
Troy TulowitZki
ResidesDenver and Santa Clara, California
Jersey Number2
Salary Earned (through 2010)$5.63 million (plus a $2.3 million signing bonus)
Money Still Owed by Rockies$153.75 million (plus a $15 million club option in 2021)
Seasons with the Colorado Rockies5
HairGrew mullet for charity in 2010
Walk-up Song Used for home At-bats in 2010"Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus
Cheese Factor of SongHIGH The legions of preteens who go ballistic for Troy may feel differently.
On-field Performance (uring the first five seasons with the Rockies):
Games Played554
Batting Average.290
Home Runs92
Fielding Percentage.985
Gold Gloves1
All-Star Appearances1
Silver Sluggers1