Tonight will be surreal at Citizens Bank Park as Chase Utley will return as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time since being traded by the Phillies last season.
A lot of memories were made by Utley across the 12 and half seasons that he was in red pinstripes. This upcoming series between the Dodgers and the Phillies will be sure to create more memorable moments. Before those occupy space in the memory bank, however, here are three of the most memorable moments of Utley’s career as a Phillie.
3. Utley bulldozes Navarro
To many this may seem as a random play that isn’t one to remember, but to me, this epitomizes the way Utley plays, a style that I admire. As someone who was ejected himself from a youth baseball game for running over the catcher, I always played with that aggressive mentality. Utley will always be remembered within the game of baseball for his hard slides. So much so that there’s even a rule named after him!
2. Utley being anointed “The Man”
This second memorable moment doubles as one of the best memories Phillies fans have of late broadcasting great, Harry Kalas. Back on Aug. 9, 2006 Utley scored from second base on an infield ground out to the pitcher by Ryan Howard. Utley not only had some of the best physical skills on the ball club, but he knew how to outsmart other players on the field as well and that is what put him above plenty of other players in the league.
1. “World F—ing Champions”
The most memorable moment of Utley’s career was one that didn’t occur during a game. The usually apathetic Utley stepped to the microphone at the Bank for the World Series championship post-parade celebration and announced to the 40,000+ at the stadium and the thousands of television viewers as well that the Phillies were “World F*cking Champions.”
I vividly remember where I was during the speech – sitting at Applebee’s. I attended the parade that day with my father and after getting a contact high from a group of blunt-sharing Penn students, he and I decided to get food on our way home. The celebration was on TV at the bar and I distinctly remember how the f-bomb didn’t register clearly on the closed captioning as it showed a bunch of symbols instead of letters.
We are just hours away from Utley’s return. Are you emotionally ready for it?
[Editor’s note: <3]