Debate of the “Face”: Why Chase Utley is the “Face” of the Phillies

Career Stats: .290 AVG, 188 HR, 694 RBI

Yesterday, while watching the Phillies beat the Cardinals, a debate started between myself and fellow BLS writer Ray Boyd. We were arguing our case for who we thought was the “face” of the Philadelphia Phillies. Ray believes that Jimmy Rollins is the face of the franchise, and Ray makes a good case for Rollins. But, that is for tomorrow. Today, I will be making my case for Chase Utley; the “face” of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Chase Utley, the 15th overall pick in the 2000 amature draft, made his Major League debut on April 3, 2003. He didn’t have a hit that day, striking out as a pitch-hitter. His first hit, however, was a big one; a grandslam. By 2005, at age 26, Utley was the Phillies starting second baseman.

Since Utley became a part of the everyday line-up, the Phillies have won five NL East titles, two NL Championships, and one World Series. As for his personal accolades, he is a five-time All-Star. But, why does this make him the “face” of the franchise?

First off, I have to give my definition of what it means to hold this title. In my opinion, the player has to have been a part of the team for at least 5 years. The player also has to be instrimental in the teams sucess. Also included in my definition, the player has to be feared by the rest of the league; resented by the rival team’s fans. This is not for the reason you hate the player. You just wish that player were a part of your team because of what he brings, and the fact that he is part of the other team makes you cringe in fear. Players like Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, David Wright, and Miguel Cabrera bring about that effect; players like Chase Utley.

Yes Mac, he is a power-hitting second baseman and for the NL, that is rare.

A commonality between all of the players listed above is that they hit for average and power, Utley included. Though, the past 2 years, Utley hasn’t been the same hitter. He has, however, been the same player. He will still take a pitch to the body, dive for a grounder, bolt down to first after hitting a routine-grounder; the definition of a true baseball player. As I write this article, Chase Utley just knocked-in a run, stretching what would have been a double for anyone else into a triple. If I had to give an example of his style of play, well, there you go.

His style of play has made him a leader. Since his addition to the line-up, the Phillies have played a different style of baseball; winning baseball. He has had many clutch hits, as well as many clutch plays. Coined “the Man” by Harry Kalas, Utley has been just that for 9 years and counting.

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