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Helton will miss cage, 'where the work takes place'

For vet, practicing swing a solitary, meaningful activity that translated into success

DENVER -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton's career highlights will live as long as technology permits, but he'll leave the ranking of those to others.

"I don't know what I'll remember first, but I know what I'll miss the most," Helton said.

Helton, 40, put up even more highlights in his final home game Wednesday night. Honored throughout the 15-5 loss to the Red Sox, the first baseman homered, doubled and drove in three runs during a 2-for-3 performance. He smiled throughout, and he's repeatedly said that he's content to retire after 17 seasons.

But he can't replace the solitary time he spends working on his swing.

"I'll miss being in the cage," Helton said. "It's just where it gets done. It's where you're with yourself, something clicks, and you're able to take it out on the field.

"You get to try all these different things and then try it out on the field. Then you see these other guys find it, go out and get three or four hits. I don't know. That's just where the work takes place as a hitter. To me, that's the big deal."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.

Colorado Rockies, Todd Helton