February 17, 2023
Filming is underway for the 16th season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and it looks like the Gang will be crossing paths with a familiar friend from seasons past.
Series co-creator Rob McElhenney shared a video of the trailers on the show's set Thursday, including one door with a handwritten sign for retired Philadelphia Phillies legend Chase Utley.
Should be a real home run! ⚾️ @Phillies pic.twitter.com/3NvCtQS8F2— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) February 16, 2023
Utley's past cameos on the show have created some of the series' most memorable highlights. In "The World Series Defense," the fifth episode of season five, Mac wrote an endearingly stupid love letter to his hero, Utley, and plotted to use Dee as a kind of passenger pigeon to deliver it to him by storming second base to kiss him during a game.
The opening line of the letter — "Dear Chase, I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so much alike" — has become one of the show's most enduring memes. When the Phillies acquired pitcher Noah Syndergaard last season, McElhenney welcomed him with the same line.
The next season, in "The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods," Dennis and Charlie end up crashing Frank's charity event attended by World Series champs Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
Utley and McElhenney both live in Los Angeles and have become friends outside of their collaboration on the show. Utley even responded to Mac's love letter in a mailbag video for MLB Fan Cave in 2013. Since then, Utley has twice thrown out the opening pitch to McElhenney at Citizens Bank Park — once in 2019 and again during last year's World Series.
There's no telling yet what kind of hijinks Utley will get swept into in the upcoming season, but the Gang is unlikely to squander the moment. Utley, meanwhile, will appear on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. Maybe he'll be up for an Emmy, too.