Just days after the man whom he honors by wearing the number seventeen on the back of his jersey pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI here in Arizona, Colorado Rockies’ superstar first baseman Todd Helton now has one more thing in common with his childhood hero Mark Grace…a drunk driving arrest.
The 39-year-old slugger immediately apologized after his arrest for driving under the influence and careless driving, making no excuses for his actions and even asking for forgiveness. Helton was allegedly trying to drunkenly buy lottery tickets in the middle of the night from a local gas station. Local cops arrived at the scene and apprehend Helton after receiving a tip that his black Ford F-150 had struck a median and then parked at a nearby gas station. Police reported that they saw the all star athlete stumbling out of the gas station — stinking of booze — and clutching lottery tickets in his hand. Apparently, Helton also made statements about drinking two igloo cups of red wine.
It’s a sad state of affairs when you’re arguably the greatest player in the history of your franchise and a borderline Hall of Famer when you’re sitting at home, drinking red wine out of an igloo cup at 2:30 in the morning, and then decide you need to drive your truck to the gas station a few blocks away just so you can buy lotto tickets.
This DUI arrest will undoubtedly serve as a jarring hit to Helton’s previously spotless reputation. This man has been the face of the Rockies for more than a decade, endearing himself to fans with his hard work and activism in the community, where he has raised his family and lives year round. Having spent his entire professional career in Colorado, Helton briefly flirted with thoughts of retirement following his hip surgery in August, but decided last month to return for the final season of his contract, which will pay him $5 million.
Helton will soon be in court to face 3 counts of DUI. Somehow I strongly doubt this is the way Mark Grace wishes to be emulated!
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