DENVER - Retiring Rockies first baseman Todd Helton says he shed a tear as he drove to Coors Field for his final home game.
"I know there's no crying in baseball, so, you know I shed a tear here - on the way here - so hopefully that will let me keep my emotions in check on the field," he told reporters before the game.
Helton ranks among the top 100 players all-time in hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks, extra-base hits, total bases, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, according to MLB.com.
"Mentally, 17 years is enough. Physically, it's definitely enough. So I think I'm at peace with it," Helton said about his pending retirement. "I think this (last home) game will be emotional, (but) I don't think it's going to be hard. Once the game starts it's just going to be baseball -- that's what I enjoy."
The team will honor No. 17 -- the owner of virtually every offensive record in franchise history -- with an on-field ceremony and by passing out 35,000 commemorative Helton bobblehead dolls.
Helton says he plans to relax after this season ends and he avoided direct answers to any questions about his plans for the future.
"My main goal coming into this season was just to finish the season. When you start making goals like that, you know it's time to retire," he said.
When a reporter asked if he would consider coming back to the game in a new capacity, he said he would be "open to the idea" but wanted to make sure he had a chance to relax after this season.
The five-time All-Star said he had wavered about the decision to retire after this season, but was already more relaxed after making a final decision and letting the world know.
"I had to step back and look at the whole picture and realize it was time to move on," he said. "Once I decided that inside myself, I went out and started playing better baseball."
His final game will be Sunday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.