End Of An Era: Chase Utley Defined What A True Philly Athlete Is
Once every generation, a team and its fans are given a one-of-a-kind player the city falls in love with. It's the kind of player everyone can cheer for, who constantly gives fans something to believe in.
In Philadelphia, our grandparents had Richie Ashburn; our parents had Mike Schmidt, and for our generation, it was Chase Utley.
But, like any love affair, things always come to an end.
Last night in Philly, the entire City of Brotherly Love wept as we said goodbye to a Phillies idol of 13 years, after Utley was traded to the Dodgers.
After losing another Philly favorite, Cole Hamels, fans everywhere gasped when the news broke that they'll be losing Utley as well.
To be honest, there's still some fans not accepting the fact that Utley will no longer be calling Citizens Bank Park home.
There were plenty of reasons fans loved Chase Utley, as he was undoubtedly talented, but also just as charismatic. Whenever he was at the plate or protecting second base, the entire park was ready to watch him succeed.
He was a natural leader, both in his play and his attitude, and that's why everyone was fascinated with him.
While the franchise has had its ups and downs, Utley has always been the heart and soul of the team. With 13 years, 1,551 games and one World Series Championship, Utley provided countless memories for Philadelphia.
Here are a few reasons why he'll be impossible to forget:
It's no secret Philadelphia has a certain toughness within the city.
Utley fought through several injuries throughout his career and has had several bump-ins in the field (like when he destroyed Dioner Navarro at home plate), but he always managed to shake it off.
He was also always able to handle the unique, tough criticism during hard times Philly fans are notorious for.
Utley was a big team leader during their World Series victory in 2008, but even after the glory years, he continued to lead and stay dedicated.
He always put the team first and always strived to improve his game, even as a seasoned veteran.
Once, during an interview, he was quoted saying:
"I know it sounds stupid and cliché, but I just want to get better. I want to always keep improving."
In Philadelphia, every person should be confident enough to speak their minds, regardless of how harsh they come off.
Although Utley wasn't one to bask in the spotlight, one of his most memorable moment is when he so bluntly said, “World F*cking Champions,” on live air in both pride and excitement of the team's accomplishments.
Whether it was his toughness, dedication or attitude, Utley was the quintessential Philly athlete for the past 13 years.
For our generation, in Philadelphia, we grew up watching him mold the Phillies, and he was an instant fan favorite from the beginning.
It'll be bittersweet watching him play for the Dodgers, but regardless of the future, we all can thank him for a great career in the City of Brotherly Love.