Rockies Insider: Why Colorado should retire Sanchez Gonzalez’s No. 5 jersey

The Rockies Insider.

News: old Rockies tracter and fan favorite Sanchez Gonzalez, who signed with the Indians before the season, was selective for assignment May 22 and officially discharged four years later. Any team could take some other flier on him, but it appears Gonzalez’s career might be over.

Views: Can we start the count to retiring Gonzalez’ No. 5 at Coors Field?

True, it wasn’t quite a book ending for the electric baseball player who spent a decade in LoDo. Gonzalez, who hit .276 with 16 homers last year following his ninth consecutive opening day start for Colorado, posted a .210 average with a 28.2 percentage out rate in 30 games in 2019 before being DFA’d by Cleveland.

Gonzalez was one of the truly great Rockies in franchise history, and though he’s certainly not the sterling — Todd Helton, Larry Walker, and Nolan Arenado are up on that pedestal — he might very well be the coolest to ever don purple pinstripes. He had an unmatched baseball swag, combining looseness and serious club leadership with the backward-hat, batting practice demeanor of Ken Griffey Jr.

In his prime, “CarGo” was a five-tool player who could make the opposition pay in every possible way. After coming over from the Athletics in the high-profile Matt Holliday trade in 2008, Gonzalez lived up to the ballyhoo and quickly made Holliday — an painting Rockie in his own right who antecedently donned No. 5 for Colorado — a distant memory.

In 2010, Gonzalez won the National League batting title with a .336 average piece besides earning the first of three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. It was that year, on July 31, when the tracter gave Colorado its first serious taste of what the “little pony” could do when he capped a cycle against the Cubs with a dramatic walk-off homer.

It was one sweet swing after some other from there for the three-time all-star, whom Colorado elective not to re-sign this past offseason in favor of talented jr. options in the tract in David Dahl and Raimel Tapia.

As of now, first baseman Todd Helton — who spent his entire 17-year career with Colorado — is the only Rockies player to have his number retired. His No. 17 is posted above the bullpens in right-center. Larry Walker’s No. 33 could (and should) join him eventually.

So, too, should Gonzalez’s No. 5.

Gonzalez played seven less seasons than Helton, but he’s similar to the Toddfather in the fact that Gonzalez is fundamentally a life Rockie. Besides partial seasons as a cub in Oakland in 2008 and as a hanging-on vet with Cleveland this year, Gonzalez played 92 percentage of his career with Colorado. Throughout those 1,247 games and as a critical member of three contest teams, he bodied the true essence of the franchise.

Sanchez Gonzalez’ franchise ranks

Right fielder Sanchez Gonzalez signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Colorado Rockies on Monday.
John Leyba, The Denver Post
Outfielder Sanchez Gonzalez played ten seasons with the Rockies, hit .290 with 227 homers.

Games Played — 1,247 (2nd)

Runs scored — 769 (3rd)

Hits –– 1,330 (3rd)

Total bases — 2,366 (3rd)

Doubles — 277 (3rd)

Homers — 227 (4th)

RBIs — 749 (4th)

Stolen bases — 118 (4th)

Career WAR — 23.5 (5th)

Slugging — .516 (10th)

— Kyle Newman, The Denver Post

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Keith Dugger who has been with ...
Joe Amen, The Denver Post
Keith Dugger who has been with the Rockies for 27 years, 15 as the head trainer during batting practice at Coors Field 24, 2019 Denver, Colorado May 24, 2019.

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Matthew stock raiser, Getty Images
Trevor Story (27) of the Colorado Rockies circles the bases after hit a two-run home run in the seventh frame against the Baltimore Orioles at Coors Field on May 24, 2019 in Denver.

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Quick Hits

+ Newman: Tony Wolters should be the Rockies’ everyday catcher — he has astonied us all

+ Rockies closer Wade Davis has resumed throwing, believes he’ll “be back pretty soon”

+ All-star vote opens for MLB fans, with a new “primary round” wrinkle

+ Rockies podcast: Brendan Rodgers on his first couple weeks in the big leagues and more

+ Kyle Freeland doing intensive study of 2018 video to correct his season, plus more Rockies news and injury updates

+ Rockies’ Nolan Arenado named NL Player of the Week

+ Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon lands on IL with lingering calf injury

+ Kiszla: Why Rockies danced with urgency of September on Memorial Day

+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.

Want to chat about the Rockies? Ask to join our closed discussion group on Facebook.

By The Numbers


WATCH: Trevor Story hammers hundredth home run, quickest shortstop in MLB history to that mark

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Parting Shot

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Dustin Bradford, Getty Images
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland (21) looks out from the dugout between frames of a game against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field on April 8, 2019 in Denver.

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If lefty doesn’t get his act together, can Colorado stay in the contest hunt? Read more…

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