PHILADELPHIA – Ryan Howard joked in September that he, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley would all be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year, if Utley hadn’t messed it up and played two seasons of more with the Dodgers.
Utley will appear on the ballot for the first time in 2023.
Many stories will then be written about Utley’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame. In the meantime, here’s a look back at 10 of his greatest moments with the Phillies and Dodgers:
1. Utley’s first success
April 24, 2003
In his first career start in his second career game, Utley struck a grand slam against Colorado’s Aaron Cook at Veterans Stadium. If you look closely, you will see the balloon hovering above Gabe Kapler’s head.
It was the first of five Utley Grand Slam tournaments with the Phillies.
2. The sequence
June 23-August 3, 2006
Utley had a 35-game hitting streak, which is tied for the 11th longest in AL / NL history. He reduced to .405 / .452 .699 with 14 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 30 RBIs in that streak.
3. The speech
October 31, 2008
The generally reserved Utley gave one of the most memorable speeches in Philadelphia history – not just in Philadelphia sports history – after the team’s parade to the World Series championship. He announced to the Citizens Bank Park crowd that the Phillies were “the world [expletive] champions “to accentuate the exuberance of a fanbase which had not known a championship of one of its professional sports teams for 25 years.
Utley would hear this line of that famous speech for the rest of his life.
âI hear it here at this stadium,â Utley said at Dodger Stadium in 2016. âThere are Phillies fans all over the country. To be honest, I see at least one or two Phillies jerseys in every game. , and sometimes they say that statement. It was a good time in 2008, that’s for sure. “
4. Beat the Mets, beat the Mets
August 30, 2007
Utley has tormented the Mets throughout his career, but this one stands out as he contributed to the Mets’ infamous collapse as the Phillies won their first National Eastern League title since 1993. The Phils followed the Mets by a point in the ninth, but with the game tied, Utley tore a single against the Mets, closer to Billy Wagner at right field to score Tadahito Iguchi with second.
It was the fourth of Utley’s five hits with Philadelphia.
5. Five circuits in the 2009 World Series
Many Phillies fans remember Cliff Lee’s 2009 World Series Game 1 for excellence, but Utley had two homers in the 6-1 win. Utley has completed five home runs in the series, tying Reggie Jackson (1977) and George Springer (2017) for most home runs in a single fall classic.
Is there any doubt that if the Phillies won the series, Utley’s performance would be remembered as one of the greatest playoff performances in history? Utley’s 1,448 OPS in the ’09 World Series is tied with Babe Ruth in the 1926 World Series for 12th best of all hitters in Fall Classic history (minimum 20 home plate appearances).
6. 2008 World Series Match 1
22 October 2008
Utley hit a two-run homer in the first inning against Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Remember, Phillies fans were eager to get started on the series. Philadelphia sports fans had suffered so many bad losses over the years. Would something bad happen to them again? But Utley’s explosion reassured them.
It was finally going to be their year.
7. “Chase Utley, you’re the man!” “
Aug 9, 2006
Utley has done a lot of plays in his career, but this one is immortalized because of Harry Kalas’ appeal. Utley was on second base when Howard cut a ball in the air. Braves pitcher Macay McBride caught the ball and threw it at first baseman Scott Thorman. Utley never stopped running and scored from second place. The best part of the play besides Utley’s hustle and bustle and Kalas’ calling? Charlie Manuel grinned as he continued to look into the dugout as if to say, “Can you believe he just did that?”
8. Utley beats the Rays
October 29, 2008
In a decisive fifth game, the Phillies and Rays were tied at 3 in the seventh inning. Jason Bartlett was second when Akinori Iwamura hit a ground ball in the middle. Utley aligned the ball with his swing carrying it to left field. He didn’t have a game at first, but he still faked a throw there. This convinced Rays third baseman Tom Foley to send Bartlett home. Utley threw a one-hopper at Carlos Ruiz, who applied the tag out to end the round. It was vintage Utley, always thinking one step ahead of the action on the pitch.
9. Grand Slam in the first return leg in Philly
Aug 16, 2016
The Phillies traded Utley to the Dodgers in August 2015. He played his first game at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Dodgers the following year. Echoing his first hit at Veterans Stadium in 2003, he hit a grand slam in right field and sprinted around the bases.
10. Hunting par excellence
May 28, 2016
Utley’s tough take-out slide against the Mets’ Ruben Tejada in the 2015 NLDS infuriated the Mets and their fans because Tejada broke his leg during the play. The slide sparked so much controversy that it spawned a rule change the following year.
Utley returned to Citi Field in May 2016. Noah Syndergaard threw a fastball at 99 mph in Utley’s back in his first appearance at home plate in the third inning on May 28. Utley never reacted. He knew why Syndegaard did what he did. Plus, Utley has never been afraid of physical baseball. He’s been hit by a pitch 204 times in his career, ranking him eighth in baseball history.
But Syndergaard was ejected for the goal pitch. Terry Collins was also kicked out.
As you might expect, Mets fans have gone nuts.
Utley rubbed his nose there a little. He had a solo homerun in the sixth to break a scoreless tie. He then hit a grand slam – the sixth of his career – in the seventh to turn a 2-0 lead into a 6-0 lead. Utley ended his career with 39 career homers against the Mets, who rank eighth all-time against them.