Peyton Manning and Todd Helton, A Surprising Friendship

Here’s something you probably didn’t know, future NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and future MLB Hall of Famer are Todd Helton are close friends.

Helton, who plays for the Colorado Rockies, has spent his entire career a mile high. Manning is new to the area. This is his second season playing for the Denver Broncos. Surprisingly, the friendship dates back to Manning’s college days at Tennessee.

In 1994 Manning was a freshmen while Helton was the big man on campus. He was already a star in both football and baseball. Manning was homesick when Helton took the young man under his guidance.

Helton the chose to play baseball, abandoning Manning for the glory of MLB. His decision paid off. Big time. Over his career, Helton is a.316 hitter and has piled up 2,509 hits. His best season came in 2001 when he belted 49 home runs and knocked in 146 runs.

Manning, of course, was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and is currently one of three quarterbacks to ever have thrown for more than 60,000 career yards.

As the years have passed, Peyton Manning and Todd Helton have stayed friends. When Manning missed a season after having his fifth neck surgery, Helton was there for him. The NFL was locked out at the time and Manning was prevented from rehabbing at the Colts’ facilities. Helton pulled some strings so Manning could rehab at the Rockies facilities.

Perhaps the mystery of why Manning chose Denver is finally solved. He just wanted to be closer to his good buddy! I’m sure the Broncos ridiculously stacked receiving corps had nothing to do with it.

In just a few days Todd Helton will play his last baseball game ever. Peyton Manning plans to be at the game to support his long time friend.

For the hopes of every team in the AFC West not in Denver, maybe Helton can woo Manning into retirement with stories of how nice it is to relax. Probably not though. Sorry Oakland, Kansas City, and San Diego.

[image via Wikimedia Commons]