Tomorrow night, the Phillies will welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to town for their first and only trip to Philadelphia during the 2016 season. For the first time in his career, Chase Utley will be utilizing the visiting locker room at Citizens Bank Park, standing in the third base dugout, and fielding ground balls in a gray uniform. With the best second baseman in Phillies history coming to town, let’s reminisce on the ten best moments of Utley’s 13 year career in the City of Brotherly Love.
10. Utley’s corner in Citi Field – Chase Utley terrorizes Mets pitching, even still. Over his career, he is hitting .282 but more impressively, he has belted 38 career home runs against them, more than any other team Utley has faced in his career. Citi Field has a short porch in right field and Utley has peppered that spot as a member of the Phils and more recently the Dodgers. You can get a glimpse of that right here.
9. Utley doubles in 2014 All Star game – After injury-riddled seasons in 2011 and 2012, Chase Utley put all doubts about returning 100% when he secured his sixth All Star game nod in 2014. Utley would rope a double to center field off John Lester in the game.
8. Benches clear vs, San Francisco – It was Game 6 against the Giants in the 2010 NLCS. Chase Utley was beaned by Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. The gamer we know Utley is takes it, drops his bat and runs to first. As Utley runs down to first the ball bounces back to him and Utley promptly chucks it back at Sanchez, as only Utley would do. The benches cleared.
7. Inside-the-park home run vs. San Francisco – When the ball caromed off the wall the way it did in center field of Citizens Bank Park that July night in 2011, we knew Chase was off to the races. Utley sacrificed his body, laying out on a head first slide at home to just barely beat the relay throw.
6. Chase Utley’s walk off vs. Billy Wagner – The rivalry between the Mets and Phillies was at an all-time high in 2007. Both teams throwing verbal jabs at each other before the season each stating they’re “the team to beat” (specifically Jimmy Rollins). The rivalry was amped up a bit more, when the Phils swept the Mets in a four game series at Citizens Bank Park. In a back and fourth series finale, Chase once again provided the fireworks. Click here to watch the entire ninth inning – ending in Utley’s walk off single.
5. Two home runs vs. CC Sabathia – On the biggest baseball stage at Yankee Stadium, Chase took Sabathia deep twice en route to a convincing Game 1 win in the 2009 Fall Classic.
4. “Chase Utley, you are the man!” – The legend of “the man” had its genesis on August 9, 2006 during a game in Atlanta, when Harry Kalas uttered those words when Chase scored on a ground ball from second base.
The top three moments of Chase Utley’s Phillies career will be published on each day of the upcoming series. And as we know, Chase had many more than 10 great moments during his time in Phillies pinstripes. This is by no means a complete list, so feel free to post your favorite Chase moments in the comments section.
Welcome back Chase!