Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been one of the most instrumental figures during this unprecedented period of Philadelphia baseball success. The five-time All-Star (2006-2010) averaged 29 homeruns and 101 RBI from 2005-2009, while at the same time bringing a level of grit and intensity to a roster that had been in desperate need of both.
Utley has been limited by injury over the last three seasons, but his imprint on the franchise still remains firmly intact. When Philly fans look back at this era, which has included five consecutive playoff appearances, two World Series appearances and of course, the team’s 2008 World Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, Utley will without question be remembered as the heart and soul of the now high profile organization.
Last week, Utley and company paid a visit to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team they eliminated from the playoffs in both 2008 and 2009. Utley was born in nearby Pasadena (CA), before attending Long Beach Poly, the legendary athletic high school located in the LA coastal community of Long Beach.
Utley would later attend UCLA, where his productivity allowed him to be drafted by the Phillies in the first round of the 2000 MLB Draft.
Above is iFolloSports.com original video of Utley exchanging pleasantries with what appears to be close acquaintances of the second baseman. The always serious Utley was seen posing for photos, while saying hello to the group, a few minutes prior to first pitch of the matinee game.
Judging by his closeness with some of the Dodger Stadium fans, as well as the fact that Utley spends his offseasons back home in LA, the idea of a return to his hometown Dodgers may not be too farfetched of a thought, after the then 35-year-old’s seven-year/$85 million contract with the Phillies expires after the 2013 season.