Remembering Chase Utley's Top 5 moments with the Phillies

Chase Utley Top 5 moments
Despite their lousy run as of late, smiles will undoubtedly fill Citizens Bank Park tonight as the club honors arguably it's most celebrated player over the last quarter-century in Chase Utley.

He's a Californian, but an adopted Philadelphian. His blue-collar work ethic and gritty attitude made him an icon in a city that loves tough-nosed hard-working athletes.

"It’s a city that respects guys that play hard, guys that want to win," Utley said last year as he made his final appearance as a player at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I feel like I did that when I was here ... We fed off the energy here in this park and it’s something that I’ll never forget. It gives me chills just thinking about it."

The Phillies will celebrate the retirement of Utley with a pre-game celebration tonight.

Here's a quick look back at some of Utley's greatest moments with the Phillies.

No. 5: First career start, first career grand slam (4/24/03)
In just his second big league game, Utley took Aaron Cook of the Rockies deep in the third inning of a contest at Veterans Stadium. Utley hit five grand slams throughout his career, though none as memorable as his first.



No. 4: Nicknamed by Harry the K (8/9/06)
When Harry Kalas gives you an impromptu nickname, it sticks. That's exactly what happened as Utley hit a bases-clearing double and then surprised everybody and scored from second base on a Ryan Howard chopper that was fielded by the pitcher. Yep, he scored from second base on a ball that never left the infield.



No. 3: Homer in Game 1 (10/22/08)
It was the first time the Phils were in the Fall Classic in 28 years, so Utley did his best to calm an anxious fanbase with a two-run blast in Game 1 of the 2008 World Series.



No. 2: Fake Throw, Nailed Him (10/29/08)
In Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, Utley put his baseball IQ on display. He fielded a grounder off the bat of Akinori Iwamura and fooled Jason Bartlett into thinking he was going to throw to first base. Bartlett, who began the play at second base, fell for Utley's pump-fake and broke for the plate. Utley then fired the ball home to Carlos Ruiz who was able to make a tag and end the threat.



No. 1: The F-Speech (10/31/08)
For all his skill on the diamond, Utley was an introvert and led more by example. Perhaps that's what made it even more surprising when he spoke at the Phillies' World Series parade in 2008 and jubilantly yelled "world champions" with an 'f-bomb' in the middle of the two words. The crowd erupted, he smiled, and the moment will forever live on as one of the most memorable in Philly sports history.


_____________________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: