This might get opinionated as Chase Utley was, and still is, my favorite player of all time. Please bare with me.
Chase Utley, You WERE The Man!
-Harry Kalas (2018) from the big broadcast booth in the sky
The Phillies heart and soul for more than a decade has decided to hang it up. During a press conference late in the LA afternoon, the Phillies great second baseman announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season despite being under contract with the Dodgers.
Utley first broke into the big leagues in 2003. His first career hit stands as a piece of Philadelphia legend, blasting a grand slam against the Rockies. Looking up over the wall in right field at the Vet was the current Phillies manager, Gabe Kapler.
The Man, now known as Silver Fox, soon became one of the best second basemen in the league, accumulating 5 straight All-Star game appearances between 2006-2010. He added a 6th in 2014.
In 2008, he of course became a “World F#*%ing Champion”. In 2009, he became the modern day Mr. October, slamming 5 home runs against the New York Yankees.
At the start of the press conference, Utley joked that he had signed a 5 year extension with the Dodgers. Of course, he was joking.
He joked with the media, saying that along with being a part-time player with the Dodgers that he was a part-time pitching coach, catching coach, and even GM.
“I’ll be at ease a little bit more”, Utley said what this announcement would do for him.
The reason he choose to hang it up now was to become a full-time dad for his 2 young boys Benjamin and Maxwell and of course his step-son Kiki Hernandez.
Utley will forever be loved by Philadelphia. If he ever has to buy a beer anywhere in the area, I would be surprised. He played hard and never stopped to take a breath. He was a role model to many and fan to many (including Charlie).
I will always remember Chase as my personal hero as a 13-year-old kid. I remember in 2014, voting furiously for Chase Utley to make the All-Star game. My favorite baseball card became a Topps Triple Thread relic card numbered to 9, featuring patches from Utley’s jersey from that All-Star game. It still sit promitately on my shelf.
For the next five years we can talk about Utley being a Hall of Famer, but for now we can look forward to July 23-25 as The Man comes into Citizen’s Bank Park as a player for the last time.
Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir will never sound as sweet again.