Why Do Fans Love Chase Utley?

By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It seems like regardless of his performance, Chase Utley is beloved by Phillies fans. As one of the best second basemen in baseball, and an all -ime great in the team’s history, it’s well deserved. But it’s still … different. Phillies players with similar resumes, like Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, don’t seem to get that same consistent support. What is it about Utley?

94 WIP’s Michael Barkann asked Utley  in an interview on Comcast Sportsnet Thursday about the fan support. “My first at-bat I struck out and I got booed off the field. But ever since then, the fans have treated me great,” Utley said. “I’ve said this many times, but they’re the best fans in baseball. They know their baseball, they enjoy coming to games. They’re our tenth man out there. So I can’t say enough about them.”

Utley’s answer seemed honest, but as is his style, didn’t totally address the question. Ryan Lawrence, Phillies beat writer for the Delaware County Daily Times, thinks that might actually be part of the reason. “He doesn’t necessarily say things to get himself in trouble. He kind of steers away from talking when he doesn’t have to talk. The less you talk, the less chance you say something that’s going to make someone mad,” Lawrence said when he talked to 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Friday. “I guess part of it’s the style of play. They love a guy that looks like he’s hustling all the time,” Lawrence said.

What do you think it is about Utley? Let us know in the comments.

Listen to the interview with Ryan Lawrence:

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  • Tom

    He typifies the work ethic of the people of Philadelphia and eastern Pennsylvania.

  • http://philadelphiatale.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/3773/ The Philadelphia Story

    […] Why Do Fans Love Chase Utley? (philadelphia.cbslocal.com) […]

  • Lou Perry

    He gets it, Chase Utley gets it. For the most part he lets his actions speak for themselves. He never takes a play off and heaven forbid an opposing player takes a play off because that is when we see Chase at his best. He will make anyone pay for a momentary lapse in concentration on the ball field.

  • whizkid50

    Utley doesn’t cr*p where he lives … simple as that. Rollins and Howard went on a TV show and bad mouthed Phillie fans (Best Damned Sports Show Period, a few years ago). Kobe Bryant – same thing. Philly fans DO NOT forget that stuff! Nor should they!

  • DTM

    There is never, ever a question that Chase is working as hard as he possibly can every minute and that, like Bobby Clarke, he would push his grandmother down the stairs to win. In fact, he has apparently worked TOO hard, battering his body to the point that he’s old before his time. Unlike Jimmy and Shane, you’ll never see him dog it down the first baseline. I appreciate that he is a man of few words because the Philly media loves nothing more than to turn an athlete’s words against him (Cole Hamels, Bryz etc). MIchael Barkann, please get over the “F” word incident. My three young kids heard it and lived and know they’re not allowed to use it. He is clearly a decent man with a great work ethic, he and his wife live in the city and do a tremendous amount for the community. If my son’s turn out like that and drop the “F” bomb occassionally I’ll feel pretty good.

  • Hey now

    He crushed the New York Yankee’s pitching staff. In a loss to them, taking Reggie Jackson’s title to the post season wire.
    The Mets hate him because a corner is named after him.
    Plain a simple, outside of last year when he was hurt, he hits during the post season.
    He hustles while keeping his mouth shut.
    Phila loves work horses.

  • km

    1.) When Harry Kalas said, “Chase Utley, You are the man.” He was forever given an vote of approval. All Philadelphians respected Harry that much. (Play that sound bite again.)

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