Chase Utley is gone, everybody.
The best second baseman in team history, a potential future Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest Phillies in team history will now be wearing Dodger blue after today's swap between Philadelphia and L.A.
It is a time of great sadness here, a time of wailing and gnashing of teeth. There are lots of feelings going on here, none of them happy.
But Utley's time here was long and glorious. He played parts of 13 seasons in Philadelphia, participated in 1551 games and came to the plate 6617 times. He was here for a ton of great times, and some not-so-hot times in recent seasons. But during these 13 years, he has provided fans with more than anyone could have ever hoped for.
Coming up with a list of his top 10 plays of all time was not easy. It had to be culled, and I'm sure there are ones I'm missing. But, here is one man's list of the 10 best plays of Chase Utley's tenure as a Philadelphia Phillie.
10. Utley walk-off hit vs. Mets in 2007
This video is a bit long but totally worth it. Utley gets the game-winning hit in a HUGE series against the New York Mets on August 30, 2007, helping to propel the Phillies to the NL East title a month later. What a run.
9. Utley Destroys Dioner Navarro
Yeah he was out at the plate, but Navarro is still trying to get the number of the truck that absolutely destroyed him.
8. World F***ing Champions
The only time Utley ever said anything to anyone in public, it was this. Leave 'em wanting more.
7. 2008 NLCS Game 5 Double Play
For all the world, it looked like the Phillies were going to get their doors blown off in Game 5 of the 2008 NLCS. The Dodgers had just taken the lead and had the bases loaded with one out. Then, that happened.
6. 35-Game Hitting Streak 2006
In 2006, Chase Utley went on an insane 35-game hitting streak that is still tied for 10th longest in Major League history. During that 35-game streak, Utley hit .405./452/.699 for an OPS of 1.152, 14 doubles, two triples and nine home runs. It was a truly amazing run.
5. First Hit Grand Slam
In his third career at-bat, Utley, who is the last Philadelphia athlete to play at Veterans Stadium, blasted a grand slam out of the yard for his first career hit. I think he made it around the bases in about 5 seconds.
4. 2008 World Series Game 1 HR
I put this moment here because this was the moment I knew in my heart the Phils were going to win the World Series. Utley put his stamp on it right there and then, and the Phillies never looked back. Remember, the Phils had been off for almost a week and there were worries of rust. With one swing, Utley shook the rust right off.
3. "Chase Utley You Are The Man"
Um, this pretty much explains everything about Chase Utley. Every. Single. Thing.
2. 2009 World Series 5th HR
Chase Utley wasn't a national star until he had his coming out party against the Yankees in the 2009 World Series. Obviously, this would be No. 1 if the Phillies had ended up winning their second straight title. As it was, Utley tied Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit five homers in a single Fall Classic.
1. 2008 World Series Game-Saving Defensive Play
This, for me, is the single greatest Chase Utley moment because it is so Chase Utley. Remember that it was the top of the 7th inning. The Rays had just tied the score and were threatening to score again. Jason Bartlett tried to take advantage of Utley, thinking he would try to throw to first, or at the very least ignore him rounding third.
But Utley always plays the game heads-up, and has always been one of the smartest players on the field. He deked the throw, fired home, and nailed Bartlett in a play that is the signature moment from that World Series.