Rick Helling

Rick Helling

Rick Helling
Born: (1970-12-15) December 15, 1970
Devils Lake, North Dakota
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 10, 1994 for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
September 9, 2006 for the Milwaukee Brewers
Career statistics
Win–loss record 93–81
Earned run average 4.68
Strikeouts 1,058
Career highlights and awards

Richard Allen Helling (born December 15, 1970) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.


  • High school and college 1
  • Baseball career 2
  • Post-baseball life 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

High school and college

Helling attended Lakota High School in Lakota, North Dakota for three years, before graduating from Shanley High School in Fargo, North Dakota. He was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was a three-time All-Conference honoree.

Helling played college ball at Stanford University. While there he joined Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity. He was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 1st round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft.

Writer Chuck Klosterman describes Rick Helling as his personal archenemy.[1]

Baseball career

Helling was an early critic of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, warning the Players Union as early as 1998 that drugs were a problem in the sport; he served as a Union Executive Board Member from 1999 to 2007.[2]

Helling was a member of two World Series Championship teams: the 1997 World Series Champion Florida Marlins and the 2003 World Series Champion Florida Marlins. Despite being traded to the Texas Rangers earlier in the 1997 season, which meant he did not participate in the Marlins' World Series win that year, he was awarded a World Series ring by his former teammates because of his half-season contribution.

In 1998 he won five straight games on the road; no Texas pitcher matched that accomplishment until Scott Feldman surpassed it in 2009.[3] Helling had his best season in 1998 going 20–7, tying for the American League lead in wins with David Cone and Roger Clemens. His 11 road victories in 1998 set a club record, later matched by Vicente Padilla (2008) and surpassed by Feldman (2009).[4][5][6]

In 1999, Helling started 35 games for the Rangers, going 13-11 while leading the majors with 41 home runs allowed.

In 2000, Helling broke a 30-year-old record by giving up 66 doubles. One year later, he broke his record by allowing 68 doubles.

In 2001, Helling led the majors in hits allowed (256), earned runs (124) and home runs allowed (38).

Helling signed a one year deal with the Diamondbacks in 2002.[7] [8] [9] In his lone season with Arizona, Helling went 10-12 in 30 starts. After the season, Helling signed with the Baltimore Orioles.[10] [11]

Helling spent half the season in Baltimore before being traded back to the Florida Marlins.

Helling did not pitch in 2004 due to injury. On June 20, 2006, Helling struck out three batters on nine pitches—Curtis Granderson, Plácido Polanco and Iván Rodríguez—in the first inning of a 10–1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, thereby becoming the 38th pitcher in major league history to throw an immaculate inning.

On February 5, 2007, he announced his retirement to spend more time with his family.[12]

Post-baseball life

On March 17, 2009, he was hired as a special assistant to the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Donald Fehr.[13]

He currently resides in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He also coaches football at Minnetonka High School.

See also


  1. ^ Klosterman, Chuck. "The Importance of Being Hated". Esquire. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  2. ^ Helling Named Assistant to Fehr NY Times, March 18, 2009
  3. ^ "Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Texas," The Miami Herald, 8/23/09, accessed 8/23/09
  4. ^ , 9/4/09, accessed 9/4/09MLB.comPalmer, Matt, "Rangers roll, trim Wild Card deficit to two: Feldman stifles Orioles for 11th road victory, 15th overall,"
  5. ^ , 9/4/09, accessed 9/4/09Associated PressGinzburg, David, "Feldman, Cruz lead Rangers over Orioles 5-1,"
  6. ^ Wilson, Jeff (2009-09-09). "Texas Rangers find good vibe with sweep of Tribe, 10-0". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  7. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2002-01-20/sports/0201200313_1_tendinitis-rod-smith-sprained-ankles
  8. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=20020120&id=j70wAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m_0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6701,6536117
  9. ^ http://lubbockonline.com/stories/012002/pro_0120020130.shtml
  10. ^ http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-03-28/sports/0303280131_1_spring-training-pat-hentgen-rick-helling
  11. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-02-11/sports/0302110193_1_rick-helling-orioles-incentive
  12. ^ Helling to retire after 12 seasons
  13. ^ Helling, Myers added to MLBPA staff

External links

  • The Man Who Warned Baseball About Steroids - Time Magazine
  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube