Kudos to Chase Utley and his gorgeous swing for keeping this World Series alive.
Five homeruns in five games is incredible, and fans of baseball thank Mr. Utley for extending the World Series to a sixth game for the first time since 2004.
The fans appreciate the more competitive series, and it shows in the sky-high ratings.
Also, a little self-promotion if I may, check out the U-Wire archives for a feature story I did with Utley for the UCLA Daily Bruin back in 1999, coincidentally on my wife’s birthday. I remember sitting down with Chase, showing up about ten minutes early only to find him already seated solo on a bench just outside of Bruin Walk. He was truly Indie before the latest rush to Indie-style took hold; he wore two different colored socks and flip flops; his hair was charmingly unkempt, and he was very soft-spoken. I remember him being detached, and proceeding to interview somewhat awkwardly at the beginning. . .gradually he settled in and we spoke for about 35 minutes, him illuminating me to his grasp of the game from an early age and subsequent struggle to adjust at the Division I level (he was actually benched in his freshman year for lack of competence with the glove, a problem obviously remedied since). Belying the initial issues, he had a confidence – a knowledge – that he would one day be a Big Leaguer, perhaps even a Hall of Famer.
Is Utley the best offensive Second Baseman of All-Time? Recent minds recall the ornery Jeff Kent and his spate of 30+ HR seasons, and generations past would definitely include Joe Morgan on that list, and prior to that Charlie Gehringer, Nap Lajoie & Rogers Hornsby. . . but without a doubt, Utley is truly the best offensive threat I’ve seen at second base in my lifetime; and yes, he has definitely come quite a ways since his days as a Bruin.
***Also note the ESPN column from insider Jerry Crasnick today; pretty much sums it up – Utley is ALL about baseball.***