When the name Chase Utley is heard, a lot of memories come to mind. One might think of his first career hit: A grand slam. How after that first hit he flew around the bases on his “trot”. Others might think of his quiet demeanor and leadership. For Los Angeles Dodgers fans, it may be his moniker of ‘The Silver Fox’.
Utley started his MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was drafted in the first round of the 2000 amateur draft. It wasn’t until 2003 that he earned his first start MLB start; which resulted in a strikeout.
The 2006 campaign marked the season in which he finished with a .309 batting average. He racked up 32 home runs and 131 runs. To put him over the hump, he also managed 102 RBIs. This resulted in his first All-Star appearance. In 2007, Utley reached his second consecutive All-Star Game.
The following year told a similar story for Utley. With a .292 batting average, 33 home runs and 113 runs, he once again received the All-Star nod. As a team, the Phillies reached the 2008 World Series. Utley was responsible for two home runs, four RBIs and five runs.
In 2015, Utley was sent to the Dodgers, where he played through the 2018 season before eventually retiring. He appeared in once more World Series before the end of his career.
In his 16-year tenure, Utley was a six-All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, and a World Series champion. He totaled 259 home runs, 1,025 RBIs, and finished with a .275 career batting average.
It wasn’t always picture perfect for Utley. Through much of his career, a case of patellar tendinitis left him with nagging knee concerns. In 2012, it forced him to leave Phillies’ camp for the second consecutive season. He started that particular year on the disabled list.
The truth is however; he was more than the stats. As a kid, it was his quiet determination. It was his leadership that made him an All-Star. The way he dedicated himself to every play. Charlie Manuel spoke of Utley as a ‘silent leader’. He could look at you and you would know what he was thinking.