A day that many Phillies fans have been hoping would never come has appeared to have arrived. Former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will announce today that he will be retiring from Major League Baseball at the end of the 2018 season, his 16th campaign in the bigs.
Utley, a 6-time all star and 4-time Silver Slugger winner, cemented himself as the best second baseman in Phillies history during his 13 seasons in Philadelphia. He ranks in the top ten in franchise history in hits (1623), home runs (233), runs batted in (916) and games played (1551), per MLB.com. “The Man” was regarded as top second basemen in all of baseball throughout the prime of his career, and there was a period where he was widely considered the best second baseman in the entire league.
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His impact, however, goes beyond just his stats. The grit, toughness, and quiet confidence Chase displayed on the field epitomized everything about the city of Philadelphia, and left an impact on the city that will be tough to match by any athlete in this city succeeding him. There were never effort issues with Utley; he busted it down the line every time he made contact, whether it was a no-doubt homer or a pop up to shallow right. His baseball instincts were top notch. He always knew exactly where to be and what to do on the field, with no better example being his heads up play to throw out a potential go-ahead run late in the title-clinching game of the 2008 World Series.
Utley has left us with countless memories, even after he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. From his game winning single off of Billy Wagner in 2007, to his homer parade in the 2009 world series, and his incredible return to Philadelphia in 2016, Chase’s impact will never be lost in the city of Philadelphia. Thank you, Chase. You are the man.
Huge Philly sports fan, in Florida now but born and raised in the Philly area. Currently a freshman in college.