Chase Utley -- the California Golden Boy
Chase Utley was born in Pasadena, grew up in Long Beach, and attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School. In 1997, Chase was drafted in the second round of the Major League Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Utley decided to decline the offer and instead opted to play baseball at UCLA.
Chase was drafted by the Philidelphia Phillies in 2000. He went on to make his MLB debut in 2003 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Utley recorded his first major league hit which was a grand slam during his first career start.
In September 2003, Utley recorded the final game-winning RBI and at-bat at Veterans Stadium. The following year, it became clear to the Phillies organization that Utley was the team's future second baseman. In 2005, when the Phillies traded Plácido Polanco to the Tigers, Utley became the starting second baseman.
With the Phillies, Utley was a 6x All-Star, 4x silver slugger winner, and a World Series Champion. As one can tell, Utley had a long and successful career with the Philidelphia Phillies.
In 2015, Utley was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He impressed during his first game as a Dodger with his baserunning. In 2016, the Dodgers declined his 2016 option making him a free agent. In December, the Dodgers chose to re-sign him to a one-year contract. In Game 4 of the 2016 NLDS against the Washington Nationals, Utley went on to hit a two-out RBI that broke the tie and eliminated the Nationals. In 2017, Utley signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers again. In 2018, he signed with the Dodgers again for an additional two-years.
Although it seems like Utley's career with the Dodgers hasn't always been steady he is someone that is an important presence to have in the clubhouse. His veteran status makes him someone that the younger players can count on for advice but also he is someone that brings more experience to the club.
I personally hope to see Utley in Pantone 294 for a few more years to come. Make sure to keep an eye out for Utley as he returns to the club this week.
- Stephanie Mejia
He’s had a solid career and it’s bittersweet that Utley announced his retirement for the end of the 2018 season. You are correct in that his leadership comes in the form of his experience and presence in the dugout.
He truly ‘honors the game’ with his work ethic and hustle. While many players may take their career for granted, Chase Utley gives his all each time he steps on the diamond.