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chase utley, philadelphia phillies

Player: Utley, Chase

Card: 2007 Allen & Ginter #80

Position: 2B

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"If some Phillies do lack big league industriousness… Utley is beyond reproach, conspicuous in his effort. The 27-year-old second baseman dives for all grounders in his zip code. He grinds out at bats and bursts out of the box as if someone had fired a starter's pistol, even when he's not trying to extend a hitting streak. Yankees third base coach and former Phillies manager Larry Bowa says, 'He plays every game like it's the seventh game of the World Series.'" - Sportswriter Michael Farber in Sports Illustrated (Grime Pays, 08/14/2006, Page 44)

Chase Cameron Utley (born December 17, 1978 in Pasadena, CA), nicknamed "The Man" and "Silver Fox", is a former professional baseball second baseman who played in MLB for 16 seasons, primarily for the Philadelphia Phillies where he was arguably the best to play the position in team history. He also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to Ethnicelebs, Chase is Italian on his mother's side, descended from Joseph Dal Balcon, who was Italian, and of Marie Checceti, who was French.

Utley was a six-time All-Star, won a World Series with the Phillies in 2008, and was chosen as the second baseman on the Sports Illustrated All-Decade Team for the 2000s. When he was in his prime, he hit for power (over 30 homers three times), had good range defensively, had speed, and his average climbed steadily from the time he broke in until the 2007 season.

Chase was drafted in the first round in 2000 by the Phillies and played in their minor league organization from 2000 to 2004. His first Major League hit was a grand slam off Colorado Rockies' pitcher Aaron Cook at Veterans Stadium. This happened during his first call up to the majors in 2003; he played 43 games for the Phils that first season, hitting .239 with 2 home runs, and was sent back down to AAA to start the 2004 season.

While with the Phillies in his debut season, on September 28, 2003, Chase recorded the final at-bat in the final baseball game played at Veterans Stadium (2:58:40) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (30+ years of baseball history).

He showed his first signs of stardom in 2005 when he was a starter for the entire season and belted 30 doubles and 28 homers while hitting .291 in 147 games.

In 2007, Utley was batting .336/.414/.581 and leading the National League in doubles, was second in runs and total bases and fifth in OPS when he broke his right hand on July 26 after being hit by a John Lannan pitch.

On April 8, 2008, Utley tied the major league record by being hit by pitches three times in one game. He was plunked twice by Oliver Perez and once by Scott Schoeneweis of the New York Mets on his way to leading the league for the second consecutive year with 28 hit by pitches.

At the end of the 2008 regular season, with 33 home runs, 104 RBI, and a team-high 177 hits, Utley helped the Phillies into the 2008 playoffs, and win their first National League pennant since 1993 and first World Series title since 1980 (the second ever World Series title for the team). Utley batted 3 for 18 (.167) in the World Series, but hit two home runs and walked five times as well.

From 2005 through 2010, Chase averaged 7.6 WAR per season, finishing in the top 5 in MLB three times, and is considered by SABR to have been one of the top fifteen 5-tool player in MLB history. Consistently underrated, "from 2005-09, he was perhaps the best overall player in baseball, hitting .301/.388/.535, averaging 39 doubles, 29 home runs, 101 RBI and 111 runs scored with elite defense and baserunning. Few, if any players positively affected more facets of a game than Utley during that era" (Corey Seidman, Yahoo Sports).

During the seventh inning of World Series Game 5, Utley faked a throw to first, then threw Jason Bartlett out at home for the third out in a play later described as having saved the Series for the Phillies. The fans voted his fake and throw to home plate in Game 5 as the "This Year in Baseball Awards" Postseason Moment of the Year. Sports Talk Philly highlighted this play as they named Utley as Number 6 on the list of the 25 greatest Phillies.

You can view his retirement celebration in Philadelphia here.

Utley met his wife, Jennifer, while they were undergrads at UCLA. They married in January 2007 and have two children. The couple are avid animal lovers, having raised over $45,000 for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Chase appeared on behalf of PETA in their "Adopt Don't Buy" video, encouraging people to find companion animals at shelters.

Utley appeared (9:30) alongside teammate Ryan Howard as himself on the 2010 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia "The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods".

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)

morecards

2002 Bowman Chrome #241
2006 Topps Turkey Red White #489
2007 Topps Update #279
2008 Topps #98 (“Classic Combos”)
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes #114
2018 Topps #263
chase utley phillies
Image from NJ.com
Image from thegoodphight.com

tourstops


Chase Utley is also part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Chase is also part of the Philadelphia Phillies Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Chase is also part of the LA/Brooklyn Dodgers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


See Chase’s baseball cards at TCDB


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