Though he spent parts of the final four seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, most will remember Chase Utley for his tenure and accomplishments with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The six-time All-Star enjoyed the bulk of his success as a member of the organization and played a pivotal role in helping them win the 2008 World Series — their first in over two decades.
Utley quickly endeared himself to the Phillies fanbase with his hustle and overall play, and in turn, became a thorn to the rest of the National League East division. That was especially true in regards to the New York Mets, who Utley often punished with his bat.
When the then-36-year-old was traded to the Dodgers in August 2015, it added an interesting wrinkle to the two teams meeting up in the NL Division Series.
Utley, already disliked by the Mets fanbase, became public enemy No. 1 when he took out shortstop Ruben Tejada with a slide that ultimately fractured his fibula and ended his season in Game 2.
Utley received plenty of backlash afterward, drawing the loudest boos of any Dodgers player during ensuing pregame introductions at Citi Field. He was initially served a two-game suspension as well, although it was eventually overturned prior to the start of the 2016 MLB season.
Despite the fortunate outcome, Utley wasn’t completely out of the water and still had to face the wrath of Mets fans in his return to New York. When the Dodgers visited Citi Field in May 2016, tensions again grew when Noah Syndergaard was ejected for throwing behind Utley’s head.
Syndergaard was ejected, but Utley seemingly wasn’t fazed by the incident. In his next two at-bats, he slugged two home runs and drove in five RBI — an effort that ultimately propelled the Dodgers to a 9-1 victory.
Considering all of his history with the Mets, Utley understandably isn’t fond with the organization. He reiterated the obvious during a recent interview with SportsNet LA when asked if there’s a true hatred for them:
“I do, I do. That’s all I have to say.”
Two years after his slide, former Mets manager Terry Collins revealed that Utley’s takeout of Tejada still resonated with the bulk of the clubhouse.
In 2018 — Utley’s final year as a big leaguer — there were no incidents between the two teams.
Despite his resentment for the organization, Utley previously revealed that he holds a lot of respect for the Mets fanbase, citing their passionate ways.