Helton's milestone in a numbers game

Helton's milestone in a numbers game

ATLANTA -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton on Tuesday night became the 255th player in history to reach 2,000 hits. You can look it up.

Well, not exactly.

Two easy-to-find Internet stat sources, MLB.com and baseball-reference.com, identify Helton as the 256th player to reach the milestone. However, the Elias Sports Bureau, which serves as Major League Baseball's official stat service and for other professional sports -- but is not as public with its databases -- has Helton listed at 255.

Here are the reasons for the difference:

Elias does not recognize a late-1800s loop known as the National Association as a Major League. By that standard, two players, Paul Hines and Deacon White, fall out of the 2,000-hit club.

Elias also made a clerical adjustment that gave Sam Thompson 2,016 hits. The other databases list him with 1,979 hits.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.