In the words of the immortal Ice Cube, today was a good day.

It’s highly likely that plenty of those folks who know “why” it was a good day know much about Mr. Cube. After all, Cube released his most famous song in February of 1993, about a month-and-a-half before the Colorado Rockies ever played a real baseball game, and more than four years before Todd Helton made his Major League Baseball debut. I’d bet Dick Monfort doesn’t get the reference. I guarantee my dad doesn’t.

Back then, Ice Cube and the Rockies were successful, young and hip and cool. The rapper and the baseball team sold out stadiums like Taylor Swift before Taylor Swift. Helton was cool, too, a BMOC at the University of Tennessee, playing both football and baseball for the Volunteers. Sports fans in Colorado, especially in Denver, felt cool too; we got a big win, finally being awarded a Major League Baseball team – and all the hope and fun and glory that comes along with one was in front of us for as long as we could see.

Flash forward three decades later and Ice Cube, while no longer “young,” is still pretty cool. The Colorado Rockies, unfortunately, are not. The cool factor once tied to being a Rockies fan is tepid at best. Successful, young, hip and cool? Those aren’t words we haven’t used to describe the Rockies in quite some time.

But today was a good day.

Today, it’s cool to be a Rockies fan. Very cool.

After six long years of seeing Todd Helton’s name on the ballot for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, he’s finally in. And that’s really f*cking cool.

Helton deserved it. The Colorado Rockies and their fans needed it.

Let’s face it, if you just so happen to like baseball, it’s been a tough go in Colorado. The last time the Rockies made the postseason was the first year Helton’s name showed up on a ballot. The Rockies haven’t had a winning season in five years and Helton was told he didn’t quite belong in Cooperstown five times. The waiting, for postseason baseball, for Helton’s name to be called, has been painful. When the Baseball Writers of America finally came to their senses and officially made Helton part of a three-player class of Hall of Fame inductees, anyone and everyone remotely interested in the purple and black finally got something to smile about.

Today, just in case you forgot, it would be easy to wow you with Helton’s stats and accomplishments. His .316 lifetime batting average. His four Silver Sluggers. His three Gold Gloves. His league-leading .372 batting average, 216 hits, 59 doubles and 147 RBI in the 2000 season. His walk-off homerun that swept the Dodgers late in the 2007 season, a blast that unofficially kicked off Rocktober before we even knew what Rocktober was.

All reasons – just a few amongst the many – that Helton is deserving of his newly-appointed spot in Coop.

But for me, it’s more than that.

Helton gave my dad a good reason to watch the Rockies for 17 seasons. A displaced Brooklyn Dodgers fan landing in a Dusty Old Cowtown devoid of a major league team for his first 25 years as a Coloradoan, my dad got boyhood joy from watching Helton hit and field. No matter how the Rockies were doing – winning, losing, embarrassing themselves – Helton always fascinated my dad. It was the way Helton knew the strike zone, his ability to foul off pitch after pitch until he got the one he liked, how he would unselfishly slap a single if that’s what the pitch afforded, or the way he’d heroically blast a homerun when the Rockies needed one most. My dad talked about Helton the ballplayer with the same level of detail and reverence he would when describing the gear box in a classic car or the subtleties of a well-crafted cocktail.

My dad grew up watching the Dodgers well before they moved out West, long before the Rockies were even a hockey team, and certainly a lifetime before the “Dem Bums” made an annual habit of crushing the Rockies in the NL West standings. He saw firsthand the defensive brilliance of the great Duke Snider, not to mention the likes of Willie Mays or Brooks Robinson. Though Helton played a position that’s largely underdiscussed in terms of defense, I’m quite sure my dad would say that Helton was one of the best defensive baseball players he’d ever watched.

And Helton was classy, the quiet kind of sportsman my dad could get behind.

Whether or not Helton ever made it into Cooperstown would have no bearing on how my dad – or millions of other Rockies fans, for that matter – thought of him. He was a great player, a hall-of-famer even if he never made the Hall of Fame.

Still, it’s nice to see a ballplayer who meant so much to so many finally get his flowers. For a town whose baseball team is rarely associated with good news, this is a feather in our tattered and torn purple caps.

Helton is headed to Cooperstown. Today was a good day.