Now in his 15th season, Chase Utley has a reputation that precedes him. The veteran infielder shows little emotion whether on a baseball diamond or in the clubhouse. His presence and influence is held in high regard throughout the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
After a slow start to the 2017 season, Utley has blistered his way through May and is among the Dodgers’ hottest hitters. He put together a three-hit performance in Tuesday’s win against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Utley finished a home run shy of the hitting for the cycle, and reached base a fourth time on a hit by pitch. It was only the third time this season Utley has been plunked by an opposing pitcher.
He’s willingly attempted to throw various parts of his body at pitches on several occasions, however. While stopping short of calling himself a glutton for punishment, Utley expressed little issue with getting hit, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Chase Utley on getting hit by pitches: "Do I like it? I mean, I don't dislike it."
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 31, 2017
Last season, it was reported Utley asked an opponent to hit him in order to serve as a learning moment for a Dodgers teammate who stole second base late in a game and with a large lead on the scoreboard.
Of course, arguably the most memorable instance involving Utley is when New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard threw behind him. Syndergaard was immediately ejected, and Utley kicked at the dirt in the batter’s box as if nothing happened.
He later hit a home run and a grand slam, further inciting the crowd at Citi Field.