Chase Utley returned to Philadelphia last night and received a hero’s welcome. And you knew he would.
Yes, the City of Brother Love is also the city known for welcoming opponents with D batteries, booing Santa and cheering as Mike Irvin lay half-dead on the concrete turf of Veterans Stadium, but there was no way they were doing that for the guy who led them to a World Series in 2008 and then chased that with this:
Legend. Absolute legend. No wonder he got his walk-up song, Kashmir, played in his first at-bat and a 90 SECOND STANDING OVATION. 90 seconds. I don’t think Rocky Balboa gets 90 seconds from Philly fans — and that dude isn’t even real.
Then Utley returned the favor, going Roy Hobbs on the Phils pitching staff — smashing an absolute BOMB to right center in the 5th and then following it up with a GRAND SLAM in the 7th. At that point, I was half expecting the lights to start popping and the cover to fly off of the baseball.
When was the last time you saw a visiting player get not one, not two, but three standing ovations in Philly? And he deserved every one of them. Philadelphia loves its heroes. And there are few better than the guy from Long Beach who gave them a ton of memories as a Phillie and a couple more as a Dodger.
Philly fans had to enjoy that. For a night. And now you can go back to booing your own quarterback, screaming YOOOOOOUUU SUUUCCCCCK at every opponent. But for one night only — I’m more than okay at seeing Citizen Bank Park turn into a home game for the Dodgers.