Helton tips cap to Chipper

Helton tips cap to Chipper

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton is one of few players who can identify with the Braves' Chipper Jones, but one of many who admire him.

Jones announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the season. He has played all 18 years of his career with the Braves. The only active players with more than 2,000 hits with one club are Derek Jeter of the Yankees (3,088), Jones (2,615) and Helton (2,363).

"I have the utmost respect for Chipper Jones and all he's accomplished in the game," Helton said. "You're talking about a first-ballot Hall of Famer. A Hall of Famer is one thing, but he's a first-ballot guy."

Helton, 38, also was impressed that Jones could make that announcement now.

"Wherever he goes, he'll know it'll be the last time he goes into a city, and that's pretty cool that he went ahead and made that decision now," Helton said. "It's a cool concept."

Can Helton handle his retirement the same way.

"I'm not a planner, but I'm not sure," Helton said. "When I get there, I'll know."