The world, as Philadelphia Phillies‘ fans know it, will officially end if Chase Utley is traded this summer. No one who understands the game would dare shrug off that last statement either.
It didn’t take Jimmy Rollins long to convince me that he was the real deal back in the year 2000. I, along with every hardcore baseball loyalist, knew the moment that we laid eyes on him that he was a special player.
When Utley was born in 2003, it was easy to believe that this growing baseball family had true potential. Many old school fans felt at the time that fond memories of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and the rest of their gang were going to be coupled through a new generation.
Some sharp Philadelphia ball players have left the flock in recent years via trades, free agency and other front office preferences. But, none of them wore number 26.
Because there has been, is and will only ever be one Utley, the Phillies’ world as everyone has known it will forever change at the exact moment when it’s officially announced that he’s been traded, or has signed a free agent contract with another team.
It appears undeniable that this core group of players has reached the end of its reign. Yes, it’s always possible that some magical turnaround might take place. But, how can that realistically happen this season, considering the array of other roster problems that exist? Thus, the chances that Utley will exit increase week-to-week.
A 50/50 bet could be made regarding his departure. However, no one who cares about the outcome wants to place that wager.
Other legendary players will rise and other great teams will form over time. But, there will never be anyone like Utley. His removal from this roster would definitively mark the end of the second great era in franchise history.