There was once a time where 3,000 hits seemed like an easy target for Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. His peak came during the high-offense era of the late-90s and early aughts, and he played in the hitter's park, Coors Field. Through age-31, in 2005, Helton had already collected over 1,500 hits and was a career .337 batter, and he looked as capable as he had back when his peak began.
Injuries combined with the natural decline that comes with aging, though, and Coors, while still the majors' top park for offense, isn't as cartoonish and video-game-number-y as it was. All of that resulted in Helton slowing down quite a bit, and he's now 40 years old and well off of the 3,000 hit pace. He still managed a milestone on Sunday, though, when he doubled for career base knock number 2,500:
We shouldn't be surprised that a two-bagger got the job done for Helton: he's the active leader in that category, with 584, and that ranks him 15th all-time.
Helton is in the final season of a two-year deal that reworked the end of his previous, lucrative extension. He's likely on his way to retirement following this campaign, after an entire career with one club. While he didn't get to 3,000, he was a highly productive player for a long time, made it to a World Series, and has a future full of is he or isn't he Cooperstown worthy campaigns to look forward to. That, like 2,500 hits, is certainly something.