If more than 4 million sympathy votes landed Yankees short- stop Derek Jeter in the All- Star Game, then why should I feel the least little shame cramming the ballot box on behalf of Rockies first baseman Todd Helton ?

True confession: I voted for Helton five times Monday, once for each of my knuckleheaded suggestions that Toddy Ballgame retire rather than play baseball in 2011.

Call it penance.

At age 37, Helton owns one of the top batting averages in the National League. He's on pace to smack his most home runs in five years.

Did somebody say retire?

Well, at least I now have something in common with a major-league pitcher trying to sneak a two-strike fastball past the corner of home plate.

Helton has made us both look like dummies.

Just when it appeared as if his bat was ready for the wood chipper, Helton began belting again. He resurrected a career presumed dead by a number of people, including some who work at Coors Field. But look at Helton now. Without him in the middle of the batting order, it would be R.I.P. for the Rockies.

There is one spot remaining on the roster of NL stars who will play next week in Arizona to determine home-field advantage for the World Series. Helton is among five candidates in a final vote being conducted online at mlb.com. Voting multiple times is not only legal, but encouraged.