Last week on Phillies Five, we took a look at the new-look television broadcast team for the Phillies this season. Today, with 26 days until Opening Day, we will honor #26 himself and look at Chase Utley's Top-5 moments thus far in his career.
5. And you can tell everybody...
We all know Chase Utley is "The Man", but where did the nickname start from?
On August 9, 2006 in a matinee game against the Atlanta Braves, legendary Phillies' broadcaster Harry Kalas exuberantly stated, "Chase Utley, you are the man!", after the second baseman scored from second base on an infield ground ball to the first base side.
I think it's time for Utley to retire Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" for Aloe Blacc's "The Man".
4. Welcome to the Bigs
Chase Utley made his major league debut on April 4, 2003 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he struck out in one plate-appearance. A common misconception is that Utley hit a grand-slam in his first MLB at-bat, however that was not the case.
In fact, his first hit did not come until 20 days later on April 24, 2003 against Aaron Cook and the Colorado Rockies. With the bases loaded and two outs, Utley recorded his first hit, going yard and rounding the bases for the first time in his career.
3. Look Out Mr. October
Chase was absolutely unstoppable in the 2009 World Series, and would likely have been named the Most Valuable Player if the Phillies were able to best the Yankees in the best-of-seven game series. He hit five home runs en-route for eight runs-batted-in, walked four times and batted (.286).
Utley tied Mr. October, Reggie Jackson himself for the most home runs in a World Series, 5.
The game was tied in the seventh inning in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. If the Phillies could somehow gain a lead, they would be well on their way in securing the franchise's second-ever World Series championship. But first, they had to stop the Rays in the top-half of the inning before the bats would get their chances.
The Rays were threatening to score, too, but Chase Utley made an amazing play, pump-faking to first on a ground ball, which made Jason Bartlett at third base to attempt to go home to break the tie. Utley saw Bartlett going home, and he immediately redirected to his catcher, Carlos Ruiz, to secure the out.
Of course, we know what would happen from there.
1. Did That Just Happen?
There aren't proper words to best describe what went down on Halloween Day, October 31, 2008, for the Phillies' second baseman. Throughout his career, Utley has been known to not let his emotions out, during interviews, on how he truly feels about something. Well, all those emotions held back over the years surely came out during the Championship Parade festivities.
Matt Rappa is a contributor to Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @mattrappa