For over 5,500 days, Chase Utley was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He became an instant fan-favorite and a beloved icon in the city’s sports scene.
It’s been just 356 days since the Phillies shipped Utley to Los Angeles, and Monday’s series opener with the Dodgers will mark the two sides’ first encounter since the deal.
About a year removed from last playing in red and white pinstripes, Utley’s presence remains felt on the team’s fan base.
Which moments still stand out as the brightest?
Grand slam in first start
Talk about foreshadowing. Utley made his major league debut on April 4, 2003 and later made his first start on April 24 against Colorado. It was then that he proceeded to set off some fireworks in the form of a grand slam.
Surprisingly, he was sent back down six days later. He would eventually come back and play out the final two months, finishing with a .239 average that season.
35-game hitting streak
In 2006, Utley strung together a 35-game hitting streak that tied Luis Castillo for the longest such streak by a second baseman. He fell three games of longtime teammate, Jimmy Rollins, for the longest in the organization.
The feat was also the longest by a left-handed hitter since 1945. His efforts would eventually earn him the Silver Slugger Award as the top hitting second baseman with a .309 average, 32 home runs and 102 RBI.
2008 World Series
This will ultimately be what he’s most remembered for as his effort during the postseason was unheralded. Before that, he led the Phillies to their first National League pennant since 1993. He blasted a pair of home runs against Tampa Bay and also had one of the more memorable plays with his fake-throw and throw to home that cut down a runner before scoring.
He also uttered three words during the parade that will forever remain in Philadelphia sports lure.
The following season, Utley wound up launching five home runs in the World Series to tie Reggie Jackson for the most ever in the final series. Despite the loss, this really place Utley on the national map as the best second baseman in baseball.
5-straight All-Star Game starts
This is yet another accomplishment that showcases his longevity as, arguably, the decade’s most decorated second baseman.
From 2006-2010, Utley was selected as the Midsummer Classic’s National League starter at second base. He would later make and start his sixth All Star Game in 2014.