July 13, 2018
Chase Utley was never one for speaking to the media, not unless it was absolutely necessary. So when news came down early Friday afternoon that the former Phillies and current Dodgers second baseman had called a previously unscheduled pre-game press conference prior to his team's game against the Angels, it didn't matter much that the topic of said press conference was unknown.
Everyone already knew — it was the only logical explanation. Utley, a likely future Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever wear red pinstripes, was planning on calling it a career. All that was left to figure out was whether or not that retirement would be effective immediately. As it turns out, it will not, as Utley announced his intentions of playing out the year before retiring at the end of the season, his 16th in the major leagues.
"There's obviously a lot of speculation as to why I, of all people, would call a press conference. Well, I just wanted to say that I've signed a five-year extension with the Dodgers," Utley said with a laugh in front of a room full of media members and teammates. "On a serious note, I think everybody pretty much has it figured out, but at the end of this year I'm going to retire. And I'm excited about that opportunity."
Utley said the biggest reason for his decision is the desire to spend more time with his family.
"The one thing you can't do part time, you can't be a part-time dad," he said. "I'm ready to be a full-time dad."
A six-time All-Star and key member of the 2008 team that went on to become world [expletive] champions, Utley has posted some pretty impressive numbers, especially during his 12.5 seasons with the Phillies.
What won't show up on the stats sheets are the plays like this one, which might be one of my favorite baseball highlights of all time.
And, of course, he was also the man.
Phillies fans will still have a chance to see Utley play, as the Dodgers are set to visit Philadelphia for a three game set later this month (7/23-7/25).
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