The Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers both entered Monday night in sole possession of first place in their respective divisions. The two teams combined for eight home runs in one of the more wild games of the 2018 season. But the biggest takeaway from the game was the reception that Phillies franchise icon Chase Utley received in what may turn out to be his final career start at Citizens Bank Park.
Utley joined Joe Decamara and Jon Ritchie of SportsRadio 94 WIP Tuesday and talked about how much Monday night meant to him:
“It was obviously an extremely special night for myself, [for] the fans here. As you know, it [the city of Philadelphia], has been amazing towards me. Obviously, we had some great times here. We go back a long ways, but the support that I’ve received the past three years in an opposing uniform is pretty cool.”
Prior to the game, Utley did a curtain call when Dan Baker read his name in the Dodgers starting lineup. When it was Utley’s turn to bat in the top of the second inning, Led Zepplin’s “Kashmir” played throughout the stadium before fading into a nearly 60 second standing ovation for the six-time All-Star:
Now batting, number twenty-six, second baseman, Chase Utley!
A tremendous ovation for a tremendous athlete.
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 23, 2018
Utley, 39, announced earlier this month that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Now in his 16th major league season, the former second-round pick spent parts of 13 seasons in Philadelphia. During that time, he became one of the most beloved figures in Philadelphia sports history, as he, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard led the Phillies to five National League East titles, two National League pennants and a World Series title between 2007 and 2011.
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