Atkins with the Colorado Rockies
|Born: December 12, 1979|
|August 3, 2003, for the Colorado Rockies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 25, 2010, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Runs batted in||488|
Atkins attended University High School in Irvine, California. As a senior, he was named the Irvine World News All-City MVP, after posting a .557 batting average, along with a school single-season record 13 home runs.
After being drafted by the New York Mets in 1997 out of high school, Atkins elected to attend college. He was recruited by Pepperdine, USC, Oklahoma State, Cal State Fullerton and UCLA, choosing the Bruins. At UCLA, Atkins majored in sociology and became the first three-time All-American. He began as a first baseman before converting to third base, where he made 51 starts in 1998. However, in 1999, his sophomore campaign, Atkins played first base again and led the team in hits. He was a teammate and roommate of Philadelphia Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley, and along with him, was one of only two Bruins to start every game.
In 1998 and 1999, Atkins played collegiate summer baseball for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). He hit .383 in 1998, and in 1999 he was named playoff MVP as he led the Kettleers to the league title. Atkins was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2013.
Atkins made his Major League debut in 2003 and hit .159 with 0 home runs and 4 RBIs. He fared better in his second stint in the Major Leagues in 2004 hitting .357 with 1 home run and 8 RBIs. Atkins won the Rockies' third base job in 2005 but was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring before the season started. He returned in April and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting after a season in which he topped NL rookies with 221 total bases, 31 doubles, 45 walks, and 45 extra-base hits. He also finished the year with a 16-game hitting streak in September. His final stat line was impressive: .287 batting average, 13 homers, and 89 RBIs. Atkins followed with two strong seasons in 2006 and 2007, where he hit a combined 54 HR and 231 RBI and took part in his only World Series, where the Rockies fell in four games to the Boston Red Sox.
In 2008, Atkins spent much of the season playing first base in the absence of injured teammate Todd Helton, marking a defensive transition to "a more natural position for him."  Prior to the start of the 2009 season, Atkins accepted a one-year $7 million contract from the Rockies. He struggled, hitting .226 with nine home runs, and 48 RBIs. With the emergence of Ian Stewart, Atkins became less of a priority in the Rockies long-term plans and was non-tendered on December 12, 2009, officially making him a free agent.
Atkins agreed to a minor league deal with the Pirates on December 23, 2010. In March 2011, Atkins was released.