When the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Chase Utley last August the expectation was he would serve as another positive influence in the clubhouse. Utley’s veteran presence became of more value once Corey Seager joined the club from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The two went in opposite directions, with Seager usurping Jimmy Rollins as the starting shortstop, and Utley struggling to make an impact. Despite that, Utley was re-signed to a one-year, $7 million contract during the offseason.
He’s put together a strong 2016 campaign, but perhaps more importantly, continued to mentor Seager. Their lockers are side by side in the Dodgers clubhouse.
While the pupil and his understudy have grown close and connected over a constant desire to help the Dodgers win at any cost, a friendly bet between the two came to life, at Seager’s persistence.
“Corey has been asking me for the last few months to dye my hair like I was 25 again,” Utley explained during an appearance at the third annual “Dodgers All-Access” at Dodger Stadium. “And I’m not really that interested in doing that at this point.
“So he finally got me to agree to a bet that if he hit two home runs in that particular game, that I would dye my hair. ‘Corey, sure. Go ahead. If you hit two homers, I’ll dye my hair.’ Well, he hit a home run in his first at-bat and he was extremely excited.”
Utley sensed Seager was on his way to hitting a second home run, so he negotiated an out. By hitting a home run himself, Utley negated Seager’s homer. However, the 22-year-old shortstop responded with the second home run.
“Then he hit another home run and he rounded the bases with a big smile, the whole dugout is going crazy because at that point they’ve all got wind of it,” Utley recalled. “I honored the bet, so I dyed it a few weeks ago.”