Los Angeles Dodgers veteran second baseman Chase Utley made a surprise announcement on Friday when he called a press conference to reveal that he plans to retire at the end of the 2018 season.
For Utley, that will conclude an outstanding 16-year big league career in which he was named an All-Star six times, and won four Silver Slugger Awards in addition to a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.
Utley has seen his role diminished into being a bench player with the Dodgers the last couple of seasons, so the decision to hang up his cleats to spend more time with his family was an easy one for the 39-year-old, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I transitioned to a part-time player, something new for me but I took it in stride,” said Utley. “Also, a part-time strength coach, part-time pitching coach, occasionally part-time catching coach as well as a part-time general manager. The thing I’m having the most difficult time with is being a part-time dad. So that’s really the reason I’m shutting it down. I’m ready to be a full-time dad.”
A big factor that Utley said played into him deciding to announce his retirement now is that the Dodgers are set to make their annual trip to Philadelphia coming up after the All-Star break.
So those fans will be able to shower him with the love and appreciation that Utley deserves for all the great moments he brought them.
Utley’s main goal since coming over to the Dodgers has been to win another World Series, and after coming up just short of that in 2017, they will have one more shot at it this season before he rides off into the sunset.
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