You have to wonder if Todd Helton has a bucket list that he feels compelled to complete now that he's announced he'll retire after this season. If so, maybe "catch a guy with the hidden ball trick" was on it and he can go home after Thursday's game and cross that one off.
Helton, the 40-year-old Colorado Rockies first baseman, pulled out the old trick to catch Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals slipping after a pick-off attempt. Helton pretended to toss the ball back to the pitcher, kept it, then turned and tagged out Carpenter, who had stepped off first base. If it's the last quirky highlight Helton is responsible for in his 17-year MLB career, then it's a classic one.
We've seen a couple different hidden ball tricks work this year — Juan Uribe got caught at third base by the Rays, then Astros rookie Max Strassi had a strange hidden-ball encounter where the Rangers didn't even try to fool him, he just sort of fooled himself.
Helton's hidden-ball trick was simpler than both of the others. It's the way you would see the play go down in the movies. Quick, easy and hilarious.