A look at four of Chase Utley's most memorable moments with the Phillies

Chase Utley returns to Philadelphia
You can debate the eventual candidacy of Chase Utley for a spot in Cooperstown, but his role as one of Philadelphia's greatest and most beloved ballplayers over the past quarter-century is undeniable.

Utley announced last week that this season will be his last, capping a 16-year career highlighted by five All-Star game appearances and a World Series title with the Phillies in 2008.

Utley will be in Philadelphia over the next three days as the Dodgers are in town for a three-game set with the Phillies. Both clubs sit atop their respective divisions, so this could be a preview of a potential postseason affair.

The Phillies will do some minor things throughout the series, likely on Phanavision, to celebrate Utley's 13 years in Philadelphia but there won't be anything formal. The club said in a statement Sunday it plans to honor him properly at some point next season once he's already retired.

Here's a look back at some of Utley's most memorable moments while with the Phillies:

Veterans Stadium Blast
Utley's first hit in red pinstripes was a pinch-hit grand slam off Colorado's Aaron Cook. He turned on a pitch low and inside and belted it into the bullpen in right field. Also, check out how fast he motors around the bases here. Fitting too, that Harry Kalas has the call.



Postseason Heroics
There's no doubt that 2008 was a magical year for the Phillies, but Utley's blast in Game 1 of the NLCS is the stuff of legend. Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, he turned on a Derek Lowe pitch and deposited it into the seats in right field to even the contest. Pat Burrell came through with a blast of his own later that inning to give the Phils a 3-2 win.



The Unforgettable Call
It's perhaps one of the most iconic broadcast calls in Philadelphia sports over the last 20 years, the late great Harry Kalas throwing praise at Utley as "The Man" for scoring from second base on a Ryan Howard infield chop back to the pitcher in a contest against Atlanta.

If you ever needed a play to define the type of player Utley is, this is it.



Max Baseball IQ
Another one of Utley's exceptional moments came during Game 5 of the 2008 World Series when he faked a throw to first on a grounder to his left and instead made an outstanding one-hop throw to nail Jason Bartlett at the plate.


_____________________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: