The 2,000 games were one thing. What meant more to Todd Helton was the uniform he was wearing in them.

Helton, who logged his 2,000th career game Thursday, is a member of a dying breed, a star in an era of free agency who has spent his entire career with one team.

"The thing I'm most proud about is that it's all been here," Helton said. "It's kind of hard to put your head around. A lot of times driving to the ballfield, a lot of times I've had to put the game before my family. . . . I think about those things. But I'm very proud to say I played in 2,000 big-league games."

Rockies manager Jim Tracy is touting Helton for comeback player of the year, and for good reason. He's hitting .308 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs, one year after persistent back problems led to a .256-8-37 meltdown.

Yes, said Helton, it means more to reach No. 2,000 while he's contributing. But what means more than anything to him is having a chance to win.

"I have fun when we win," said Helton, one of 54 big- leaguers to play in 2,000 games with one team. "Obviously, I want to play well, but I'd rather take .240 and two home runs if we win a World Series. It doesn't matter at this point."