DENVER -- Rockies icon Todd Helton was the first name that came to mind -- but current third baseman Nolan Arenado was not far behind -- when fans were asked to celebrate the team's 25th anniversary by picking an all-time 25-man roster, which the club revealed on Monday.More than 3,500
DENVER -- Rockies icon Todd Helton was the first name that came to mind -- but current third baseman Nolan Arenado was not far behind -- when fans were asked to celebrate the team's 25th anniversary by picking an all-time 25-man roster, which the club revealed on Monday.
More than 3,500 fans cast votes via Rockies.com, with the team promoting the contest through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and email. The process opened Nov. 17, or 25 years to the day from the team's expansion draft in 1992. Although there weren't rigid rules, fans were encouraged to put together a somewhat representative roster so that certain positions were not over-represented.
The result was a roster that included six outfielders, five starting pitchers, three relievers, two at each of the other positions, plus one utility/write-in spot, which went to outfielder Ellis Burks, a star in the early days of the franchise.
Here is a look at the team:
Exact totals weren't available, but nearly everyone voted for Helton -- a potential Hall of Famer who spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies -- and Arenado -- who earned a Gold Glove Award in all five of his seasons and is on a three-year streak of at least 37 homers and 130 RBIs.
There were several close calls:
• The outfielders were, in order, Hall of Fame candidate Larry Walker, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, Dante Bichette, Matthew Holliday and William Fowler. Burks was close, and beat out power pinch-hitter Jason Giambi for the utility/write-in spot.
• The voting order among starting pitchers was Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis and Pedro Astacio. Just missing a spot was Jason Jennings.
• The three relievers were Brian Fuentes, Huston Street and Matt Belisle. Behind them were Curt Leskanic, Steve Reed and Rafael Betancourt.
Voting was clear at the other positions. Helton won at first base, and Andres Galarraga, who won the National League batting title in the team's expansion season of 1993, was second.
At second base were DJ LeMahieu, the current starter, and Eric Young, the team's starter there in the beginning.
Arenado and Vinny Castilla, another of the team's early stars, are the third basemen.
Troy Tulowitzki and Walt Weiss, who managed the Rockies from 2013-16, are the shortstops.
The catchers are Yorvit Torrealba, who handled the position on playoff teams in 2007 and '09, and Chris Iannetta, who is an active free agent.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.