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Helton to represent Rox as All-Star07/04/2004 7:00 PM ET
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
DENVER -- The offensive fireworks that Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has provided over that past month were rewarded on the Fourth of July.
Helton has been selected as a reserve on the National League squad for the 75th All-Star Game, it was announced on Sunday afternoon. It will be Helton's fifth straight trip to the Midsummer Classic, which will be played on Tuesday at Houston's Minute Maid Park. Helton surpassed Larry Walker (four) for most All-Star visits in club history.
"It's still the All-Star Game, still the big leagues," Helton said. "I'm excited to be there. We'll try to win a game, see what happens."
Helton will join Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, picked as a coach by NL manager Jack McKeon of the defending world champion Florida Marlins.
Helton was elected to the squad the past four seasons. As he struggled earlier this season, he said he didn't deserve to be voted onto the team by the fans. But since missing six straight starts in late May because of a strained oblique muscle that affected his back, he has put up numbers deserving of the appointment.
Helton's .352 average going into the Sunday was just two points shy of NL leader Barry Bonds. His .467 on-base percentage trailed only Bonds' superhuman .620.