Todd Helton misses Baseball Hall of Fame for fifth year on ballot

Jan. 24—The clock above the Coors Field scoreboard ticks faster than time has moved in recent years for Todd Helton.

Across now-five calendar years, the longtime Rockies first baseman has awaited the results of Baseball Hall of Fame voting, his number rising to 72.2 on Tuesday after starting at 16.5% his first year on the ballot — falling just short of the 75% mark needed for induction.

Only 11 votes stood between Helton and induction. No player with eligibility left has ever come that close without eventually making it.

Scott Rolen became the only player voted in by writers on this year's ballot with 76.3% of voters giving him the nod.

In just the last three years, Helton's gone from 44.9% of votes to Tuesday's final tally. He's still looking to join Larry Walker in Cooperstown and become the first player to exclusively play at elevation in Colorado before making it in.

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Fred McGriff will be inducted, too, after being unanimously chosen by the 16 members of the Contemporary Baseball Era committee.

Former Colorado closer Huston Street was among a group of 12 that failed to make the 5-percent threshold to stay on the ballot next year.

In 17 years with the Rockies, Helton hit .316 and 369 home runs. He also drove in 1,406 runs and amassed 592 doubles in his time at Coors Field.

Helton also played a large part in the club's run to the 2007 World Series where the Rockies were swept by the Boston Red Sox.

For Helton and the Hall of Fame, now it's a matter of when, not if.