Todd Helton was a clean-shaven, baby-faced rookie when he got called up by the Rockies in August 1997. That's when he first got to know Walt Weiss.
"He's a man of great character. You could tell that immediately," Helton said Thursday. "The player you saw on the field? He's exactly the same person off the field."
More than 15 years after Helton formed those impressions, Weiss has been named the sixth manager in Rockies history. Helton says Weiss can be a good fit for a young club that's coming off a 98-loss season.
"He's a blue-collar, lunch pail kind of guy," said the Rockies' veteran first baseman. "With Walt, it was, 'Keep your mouth shut and get the job done.' You just don't have that many players that fit that description. I think he will carry that over as a manager."
Weiss, who turns 49 on Nov. 28, was announced as the Rockies' manager late Wednesday night. He was a stellar defensive shortstop for 14 big-league seasons, including four with the Rockies from 1994-97.
After playing for the Atlanta Braves, Weiss returned to Colorado and worked as special assistant to general manager Dan O'Dowd from 2002-08. Weiss worked with players on fundamentals and the proper approach to the game.
"He was never a guy who yelled, but he had this kind of silent intensity," said shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who made his big-league debut in late August 2006. "Without a doubt, for the young guys on this team, I think he will be a good fit. He'll get them to play hard."
Center fielder Dexter Fowler was coming up through the minor leagues when Weiss was still working for the Rockies. Weiss spent a lot of time with the prospects during spring training, and Fowler remembers Weiss as a good teacher.
Read more: Rockies' Helton, Tulowitzki like intensity of new manager Walt Weiss - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_21959715/rockies-helton-tulowitzki-manager-walt-weiss#ixzz2BkUPsABl
Rockies' Helton, Tulowitzki like intensity of new manager Walt Weiss
Denver Post | Nov 9