PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies celebrated a great Friday night. A sold out crowd at Citizens Bank Park celebrated the career of Chase Utley on his retirement night.
After a video tribute showing some of Utley’s highlights, Phillies managing partner John Middleton and former manager Charlie Manuel presented The Man with a glove commemorating his career and the team’s 2008 World Series win.
Utley then reflected on his career in a speech to the boisterous crowd. He thanked Manuel and former Phillies chairman David Montgomery, before speaking directly to the fans — this time without the cursing.
“Over the past couple of years, I get a lot of, ‘Chase, I thank you so much for 2008,’ and you know what? Thank you, the fans of Philadelphia,” Utley said. “Thank you for motivating me, thank you for being straight-forward, thank you for picking me up when I was down. Thank you for being loyal — a bit crazy at times — thank you for being passionate and overall, thank you for being the best fans in baseball.”
The Phillies had a surprise in store for Utley and one very lucky fan. Mac (Rob McElhenney) from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” finally got to have his long-awaited catch with Utley. It was a dream come true for both Utley and Mac.
Utley was the Phillies’ first-round selection in the 2000 MLB Draft and went on to play for 13 years in Philadelphia before finishing his career as part of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
During his time in Philadelphia, he was named an All-Star six times and won four Silver Slugger Awards, which is given to the best offensive player at each position.
Utley also holds the Phillies’ all-time records among second basemen for games played with 1,453 and nearly every offensive category, including 226 home runs, 1,580 hits, 883 RBI and 616 extra-base hits.
Fans in attendance received a Chase Utley bobble figurine.
The Phillies will be hosting another retirement ceremony on Sunday, July 14 to honor former first baseman Ryan Howard. The Phillies look to stop a four-game skid against the Marlins Friday.