Chase Utley's return to Philly was just as special to him as it was to fans


When you think of the Phillies and some of the top players to be a part of the organization — chances are, Chase Utley comes to mind. 

While the career he started in the City of Brotherly Love ended in the City of Dreams, nothing would ever be able to alter the level of appreciation Philadelphia has for the best second basemen the team ever had. 

A perfect example happens to be the first time Utley played at Citizens Bank Park as a visitor. That game was strange for everyone — seeing no. 26 in something other than red and white pinstripes just seemed wrong. Regardless of the uniform he wore out on the field, fans couldn’t help but show their love. 

It’s normal for returning athletes to receive standing ovations and cheers the first time they take the field — but when the game begins, it’s back to business. 

That … wasn’t the case this time around. 

In a night that couldn’t have been scripted better, Utley not only hit a home run in his return, but two — the second being a grand slam. Normally, you’d expect boos to rain down from the seats — not with him. 

The response from fans was like if it had happened for their own team. It was certainly a special moment that everyone shared and will remember for the rest of their lives. 

A moment that Utley will especially never forget. 

That was one thing that I didn’t really think about prior to going in there,” said Utley. “I knew that were was going to be a lot of tension. I knew the fans — I was hoping the fans were going to react in a positive way, but I never thought about that situation, especially not hitting a home run.

Obviously the curtains call, my teammates were telling me to get out there. I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew the fans definitely deserved it and I wanted to show them my appreciation.

Relive the moment Utley returns to Citizens Bank Park for the first time with the Dodgers tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

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