Published on February 21st, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Todd Helton Calls DUI Arrest ‘Monumental Mistake’
Todd Helton was arrested at 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 6 in the Denver suburb of Thornton and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving. A court hearing is scheduled for May.
Calling his recent drunk driving arrest a “monumental mistake,” Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton fought tears as he apologized Sunday and asked for forgiveness at the start of spring training.
“Obviously the last place I want to be on the first day of spring training is here talking about a mistake I made,” Helton said. “Last week I got behind the wheel of my truck after I had drank.
“I’m very grateful to my wife, my family, my teammates and the Colorado Rockies organization for their support. I am determined to learn from my mistakes, and I’ve gotten help.”
Helton didn’t elaborate when asked about what kind of help he will receive.
Helton, who had planned to leave for spring training the following day, initially apologized through the Rockies to his family, the team and community, saying he embarrassed himself.
Helton said he decided to wait this long to address his situation until now because “it was a matter of gathering my thoughts and making sure everything that I said, I can back up” when this day came.
“The main point was it can happen to anybody,” Helton said of his message to the Rockies. “I never thought it could happen to me, and it did, and just be aware of it.”
Helton was limited to 69 games last season because of a hip injury and had surgery in August to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. A career .320 hitter, Helton batted .238 with seven homers and 37 RBIs.
The arrest was a rare misstep for the 39-year-old, who begins his 17th major league season – all with the Rockies. This could be his farewell year, though he hasn’t said whether he plans to retire. The Rockies will monitor his workload considering he is coming back from surgery.
Certainly Helton’s health will play into his decision how long to keep playing. He is entering the final season of his $33.7 million, three-year contract.
He struggled offensively after injuring the hip last June. Helton missed 12 games while on the disabled list in July and was hitting a career-low .238 when Colorado put him back on the DL again following the operation.
Helton, a five-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner and the franchise leader in almost every major offensive category who won the 2000 NL batting title, is ready to start fresh and put this incident behind him.
“I wish it didn’t happen,” he said. “Hopefully I can move forward from it.”
Source: The Huffington Press “Todd Helton Calls DUI Arrest ‘Monumental Mistake’,” February 17, 2013.