Chase Utley, the 39-year-old back-up second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and 16-year MLB veteran, will retire from baseball at the end of the 2018 season. Utley announced his retirement on Friday at a press conference in Los Angeles, with the entire team on hand to witness it.
6x All-Star. World (fill in the blank) Champion. The Man.
Chase Utley will retire at the end of the 2018 season after a 16-year career. pic.twitter.com/aRzpP3nFtc
— MLB (@MLB) July 13, 2018
All of the Dodgers are filtering into the press-conference room to watch Chase Utley’s press conference. Kiké Hernández is wearing his shirt with Utley’s face on it.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 13, 2018
Utley has been with the Dodgers since August 2015, primarily in a back-up role. But most remember him as the best second baseman the Philadelphia Phillies ever produced, and the beating heart of the Phillies’ 2007-2011 playoff run. Drafted 15th overall by the Phillies in 2000, he made his debut in 2003 and was part of a core of homegrown players that led the team to five straight National League East pennants and a World Series trophy in 2008.
Utley is 39 and has been in the majors for 16 seasons, so his upcoming retirement isn’t really a surprise. But it’s still weirdly unexpected, because it felt like he’d play forever. He accepted a somewhat-less-taxing back-up role when he was traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers in 2015, and the team seemed willing to let him keep playing as long as he had the desire.
But Utley has decided it’s time to hang it up. As Yahoo Sports’ own Tim Brown wrote on Father’s Day, Utley has two young kids (Ben, 6, and Max, 3), and he’s looking forward to spending more time with them.
If Utley retired on Friday, his lifetime triple slash would be .276/.358/.466, with 409 doubles, 721 walks, and 259 home runs. Some of those numbers will change between now and the end of the season, but the stats he racked up in his peak years won’t. From 2005 to 2010, Utley hit .298/.388/.523 with 216 doubles, 397 walks, and 162 homers. He’s still revered in Philadelphia, so much so that fans have given him standing ovations as a Dodger for hitting home runs against the Phillies.
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