Goddamnit, I was not ready for this. Chase Utley announced today that he will retire at the end of the 2018 season. Utley has been and always will be one of my favorite players of all time. Part of the dominante 2008 World Series Phillies team and one of the most underrated second basemen, in my opinion, of all time. A career slash line of .276/.446/.825 is great for an outstanding 16 year MLB career as a second baseman. The most underrated part of Chase Utley though was his ability to pack a lip. Look at this hammer he nonchalantly throws in.
As a second basemen by trade myself, I modeled my entire game after Utley. The gritty, unrelenting, fuck you I’m going to win attitude while at the same time being as humble as possible. I loved him, I still love him and always will. A lot of people don’t like Chase because of the slide that I believe completely changed the game (as far as slides go) forever. The only thing I have to say to that is… fuck you all. That is the way he played coming up and that’s the way he was as a player, playing hard every damn second of every game. He had his own kind of grit, his own kind of game and he played it well.
I could go on and on about how much I love this man but I will spare you my nostalgia. I believe that Chase Utley is a Hall of Famer for sure. People can rip me apart for that but I really couldn’t care less. What he did on and off the field was and is head and shoulders above the average player. As I down beers and fight back my tears while writing this, I’m glad I got to watch one of the best second basemen perfect his craft and for that I am thankful. I’m thankful that I could do my best to play the game just like him. Thank You, Chase Utley.