Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/26/13
Sitting in section 108 row 10 seat 2 at Coors Field on Wednesday night Dylan Casey a Boston Red Sox fan from Aurora found himself in the right place at the right time. In the second inning on a 1-1 pitch from Red Sox starter Jake Peavy Todd Helton drilled a cut fastball into the right-field seats for the 369th home run of his career. The ball took some fortuitous hops before Casey corralled the precious souvenir in a 15-5 Red Sox victory. "I saw it coming. It bounced off two hands and then I caught it" said Casey who moved to Colorado from Boston when he was 12. Never mind that Casey was wearing a T-shirt that read "I do it with my Sox on." On the night Helton played the 1141st — and final — regular-season home game of his major-league career Casey became a player in Rockies history. "It was a very cool moment a lot of emotion" he said. He was quickly met by a Rockies official who began negotiating to get the ball back for Helton. "It's really hard to hit a home run in any situation" Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "That was really cool." Over in the Rockpile Anthony Ortez sat more than 500 feet from home plate when Helton strode to the plate. He could scarcely believe it when Helton lined the ball into the right-field seats. "I cried just now to be honest with you" the 29-year-old Ortez said. "I love Todd Helton. He's my favorite player ever." As Helton himself pointed out before the game "There's not supposed to be any crying in baseball." But Ortez can be forgiven for shedding a tear on this night. Ortez wearing his well-worn Helton jersey arrived at Coors Field more than two hours before the first pitch just to make sure he got one of the 35000 Helton bobblehead dolls being handed out. "I like Todd because he's quiet. He's not flashy about anything. He just goes out and does his work" said Ortez who briefly met Helton while participating in Major League Baseball's RBI program while attending George Washington High School. Preparations for the final home game of Helton's illustrious 17-year career began early when groundskeeper Mark Razum and his crew prepped Coors Field for the grand goodbye. A giant No. 17 was mowed into the outfield grass and a purple No. 17 was painted on the infield grass near the first- and third-base lines. Before the game KOA radio play-by-play announcer Jack Corrigan was getting ready for what he expected would be "a night full of goose bumps." "How many times do you ever get to say goodbye to one of the 100 best players who has ever played the game?" he said. The Rockies' pregame ceremony to honor Helton was moving and classy. A video showing highlights of Helton's career was played on the giant scoreboard beyond left field. Helton was presented with a gift that made him drop his jaw and say "Wow!" It was a 6-year-old Tobiano gelding paint horse named "A Tru Bustamove." "Yeah I was surprised" Helton said. "I guess I am going to have to learn to ride a horse a little better." He wasn't the only one. "That horse surprised the heck out of me" Ortez said. "We weren't sure if Todd knew ahead of time but when he saw that horse you could tell he didn't know."
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