End of an Era: Chase Utley Edition

This is the email the media got announcing the Chase Utley trade.
This is the email the media got announcing the Chase Utley trade.

The dismantling of teams that win championships is an inevitability.  Playing in one city for an enitre career is a notion that has gone the way of the rotary phone. That said, I was still sad to see Chase Utley get traded to the Dodgers.  In fact, it kinda “gave me the feels” as we say on the web side of media.  It brought back many memories I have honestly not thought about as they just happen too fast to put into perspective.  So I want to take a little ride on memory lane today…  We’ll start in 2008.

In the summer of 2008 I started at PHL17.  I was working in advertising the year before at a locale very far from home. My life was my commute. Even though I was a life long Phillies fan,  I pretty much missed their entire 2007 Playoff run, WHICH, was fine– since, so did the Phillies. (3 and out).  So, in 2008, I was really excited they were back in post season and I was back with a normal commute.  I wasn’t really aware at the time however that my life in regards to the Phillies was changing just as their fortunes changed…

In fact?  Come playoff time it was business as usual.  I paid to attend an NLCS game and when the Series rolled around I watched it with my friends in my living room.  On the work side– I was told that the station was in talks to air the Phillies starting in 2009.  At that point that meant, if they won, I was responsible to get some graphics and congrats content to our web site.  I later learned that being “on-call” for such 24/7 type work assignments meant that I should probably relax, stay alert and take it easy.  So the night the Phils won their first title in 28 years went like this as I had not yet learned that lesson.  Still got my stuff to the web though.  😉

Literally the next morning? My Phillies life changed.  The deal that would make PH17 the “Home of the Phillies” from 2009-2013 was forming and the World Series Parade I would have gone to with these guys and partied all day, became my first official Phillies work assignment for PHL17.  That said, I still went with my good buddy Jim, pictured above and somehow managed to lose my cell phone that day.   I shot several photo galleries for PHL17 of the parade and it made an already great day, even greater. (I covered it downtown, NOT at the stadium however, so, I missed the famous Chase speech.) I chose to cover from Broad Street. (I got much better at media choices like that).

A few months later PHL17 signed the Phillies deal and I have been covering the Phillies for the station ever since.  A big part of that coverage is Phillies Charities and a big part of Phillies Charity work was always Chase and Jen Utley.  They are huge fan favorites and really seemed to be beautiful people inside and out.  Here are some of my favorites of Chase Utley at Phillies Charities over the years.

So as Chase leaves the Phillies this week and only two, (Ruiz and Howard), remain from that team, it really does seem like a good time to look back at a pretty world wind kind of time for me and the Phillies.  I was fortunate enough to be in and around some great players and great moments.  Of all those players, Chase was easily my favorite.  He was one of those throwback types that the longer sports go on, the fewer like that there are. (See 1993 for instance when they had an entire team of them).  Incidentally I still cover the Phils for PHL17 from time to time, but our “home of” status ended in 2013.  A small local station airing 40-50 games a year also went the way of the rotary phone as now TV contracts are measured in the billions.

So even though I probably never took the time to think about it, the era that may have symbolically came to a close for me when I heard about this trade, was a pretty special ride.  I got to cover a parade, World Series, NLCS, LCS, Media Days, 101s and more charities than I can remember.  I will miss seeing Chase Utley.  Thanks for the memories and thanks for always making me look great at what I do.   Here are a few more Utley pics I took over the years.

More Photos coming as I search the archives.