One benefit of the Los Angeles Dodgers having an exclusive television network is that it allows for SportsNet LA to provide an in-depth look at the team. As such, they were able to capture a reunion between prospect Devin Smeltzer and Chase Utley for ‘Backstage: Dodgers.’
Smeltzer was fortunate enough that he was able to play baseball despite facing a daunting reality of being diagnosed with cancer at just 9-years-old. That led to Smeltzer visiting Citizens Bank Park for a meet-and-greet with the Philadelphia Phillies, when he was 10.
Smeltzer’s favorite players at the time were Cole Hamels and Utley. He got their autographs and the two stars posed for photographs with a young child who would eventually become a Major League pitching prospect.
During Spring Training this year, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought Smeltzer into the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch so he could reunite him with Utley.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) March 30, 2018
The two shared a heartfelt embrace and Smeltzer thanked Utley for what he did. Smeltzer was eventually deemed cancer-free and was selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft.
Although the two are unlikely to ever be teammates, Smeltzer and Utley share a bond and history that’s much stronger.
The full segment on their meeting can be watched here.