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Helton's 16th straight opener could be his last

Helton's 16th straight opener could be his last play video for Helton's 16th straight opener could be his last

MILWAUKEE -- It was a quiet Monday for Rockies veteran first baseman Todd Helton, who started his 16th straight, and likely last, Opening Day.

Helton, in the last year of his contract, went 0-for-3 with a walk in Colorado's 5-4 loss, which ended his hit streak in openers at 13. His string of openers is the longest of any active player.

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Sensing it could be the last for Helton, 39, who saw his 2012 season end in August with surgery on his right hip before he also underwent a left knee procedure during the offseason, manager Walt Weiss prevailed upon Helton to savor the season.

"I told him, 'You might go out and hit .320 and want to play for another three or four more years.' And the way he was swinging the bat [in Spring Training], that might happen," Weiss said. "But he might not, too. So I just told him to keep that perspective. When you go out here, smell the hot dogs and just take it all in, if this is his last one. It's been a really special career."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }