By no means is this surprising, but it’s still newsworthy. Long-time Phillies second baseman Chase Utley returned as a member of an opposing team for the first time on Tuesday, and the reception he got from the Phillies fans and players had to have been pretty satisfying.
I love the Ryan Howard shot along with Utley saluting multiple times toward all parts of the stadium. Just a great all-around moment. Not that it matters much in the context of the moment, but Utley would strike out looking.
Utley, 37, spent parts of 13 seasons with the Phillies. The six-time All-Star hit .282/.366/.481 with 346 doubles, 233 homers, 916 RBI and 949 runs in his time there. Perhaps more importantly, he formed the nucleus (specifically in the infield with Howard and Jimmy Rollins) of one of the greatest Phillies runs ever. They made the playoffs every year from 2007-11, while winning two pennants and one World Series.
Needless to say, playing for another team will never change how beloved Utley is by Philadelphia.