It's time for a brand new episode of Good Things Happening to Good Players: Phillies Edition! It was announced earlier today that Chase Utley has won the Phillies Heart & Hustle award. It's Utley's fifth H&H (he won in 2013, 2009, 2008, and 2007), and it's actually a nifty little award. From the press release --
This esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.
Normally, I'd just congratulate Chase on the honor, post a few videos of him being awesome, and call it a day. But former Phillies ace and ace dad-tweeter Roy Halladay (himself a two-time recipient of the award) decided to weigh in and share his feelings.
I struggle writing this due to the privacy of a man of integrity and the definition of a baseball player. In the video room in the stadium..— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
This is obviously important to him. He struggled, so I'm emotionally invested right away. Then he launches into his story, so now we're in the Phillies' video room. In my mind, the video room looks like this:
That's the control room from the short-lived show The Jim Henson Hour, which aired just a few episodes back in 1989. (Yeah, that's a deep cut.) It *probably* doesn't look like that, most likely, but in my head it absolutely does. So, the Phillies video room is our setting.
You will find a row of heart and hustle trophies with chases name. Not because somebody chose to display them but rather a junk drawer...— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
Of sorts for a man who although appreciates the honor plays the game for all the right reasons! Not to be seen or heard or for attention..— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
It amuses me to no end that Utley cares so little for hardware (not the honor of the award, but the actual hardware) that he just leaves the trophies at work. Though considering how much time Utley spends in the video room, it's almost like he left them in his office. If Utley cares about any hardware, it's his World Series ring. I also love that Halladay calls Utley's video room award display "a junk drawer of sorts." Being a baseball player must be weird.
No look at me see how or any of the me first mentality taking over all parts of baseball sports ect. One of my greatest honors was putting..— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
My heart and hustle trophy along side the definition of the award— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
I can't decide if Roy is talking about putting his award beside Utley's awards in the video room (which is a cute image, because Halladay would have to bring the award with him when he went to look at film, and he had to take a second to physically put the award next to Utley's, and he probably stepped back to look at it for a second and smiled and nodded in a "Yes, this is right, I like this" kind of way), or if he put his award next to the actual real life Chase Utley. While scenario A is more likely, scenario B has me hoping that Halladay chased Utley around the clubhouse with the award, shouting to him "Just stand next to it for one minute! It's not rigged or anything, this isn't a trick! Just stand next to the trophy!"
Their must be one on every team I seen two in my life Scott Rolen and most of all Chase Utley! The award has lost meaning its normally....— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
As if this string of tweets wasn't already the best, Halladay then name checks Scott Rolen. Roy Halladay thinks Rolen's amazing, you Rolen-hating Phillies fans. It's time to come around on him! Halladay and Rolen played together for a season and a half, and at that point Halladay had been with the Blue Jays for 10 years. So I'm not sure there's really an Utley or a Rolen for every team, but I'm not going to split hairs here.
Given to the guy having the best year. But if you could somehow measure that in a man chase is run away from the pack! What's really sad...— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
Is some our busy patting them selves on the back and missing what a true baseball player is! I kid you not when he talked to me ....— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
On the field I got goose bumps every time! Please encourage your friends, family, most of all your kids to be like chase! #26&chooch!— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) July 22, 2014
I just exploded from happiness. Halladay is as big a fan of Chase Utley as I am! Roy Halladay - I'm sorry, The Great Roy Halladay -- who is stone cold on the mound, got goosebumps every time Utley spoke to him on the field. That's just the greatest thing I've ever heard. And even in a series of tweets about Utley, Halladay manages a plug for his favorite catcher, his main man Carlos Ruiz. "Ok, I'm talking about a phenomenal baseball player that everyone should aspire to be like, so obviously I have to get that Chooch hashtag in there somewhere." That's how much he still adores Carlos Ruiz. I half expect Halladay to tag every single one of his tweets with #chooch.
Everyone should be following Roy Halladay's twitter account. It's highly enjoyable, and it's fun to get a glimpse of the actual man behind the player and learn about his baseball experiences. I fight a battle every day to stop myself from tweeting ridiculous, fawning, Chris Farley Show-esque things at him. "Do you remember the time you threw a perfect game? That was so amazing, you're the best, I love you." "Hi Roy, just want to remind you that you're awesome and Phillies fans miss you all the time." "ROY I'M HAVING A PARTY PLEASE COME TO MY HOUSE I'LL HAVE CHIPS AND POPSICLES" Hey, the man is still trying to figure out his post-baseball life. He could totally come to my party.