When first learning about Chase Utley’s knee injury, most Phillies fans didn’t seem overly concerned. As days turned into weeks, more questions came up. Why isn’t he playing? What’s wrong with his knees? Why aren’t they saying anything? When is he going to come back?
There was no more shrugging off the injury. Phillies fans knew something was wrong with Utley, one of the toughest, hard-nosed players in baseball. Fans were getting worried.
Weeks turned into months, and still no Utley. Finally, a timetable for his return was set. On June 27, Led Zepplin’s Kashmir once again blasted over the Citizen Bank Park speakers.
Chase Utley was back.
The second baseman that the great Harry Kalas once referred to as “The Man” was back in the Phillies lineup. It didn’t matter if he struck out or hit a home run; the fact was that he was back. But of course he wasn’t going to strike out: Utley’s first at-bat was practically scripted.
With the count at 2-2, Utley launched Pittsburgh’s James McDonald’s offering into the right-center field seats. Utley was mobbed in the dugout with high-fives, as he gave the Phillies the early lead. He received a curtain call, as the fans couldn’t have imagined a more dramatic return.
Unfortunately, the Phillies could not hold onto the lead, and lost the game 11-7. But it didn’t matter. Chase Utley was back, and the Phillies are always better with him in the lineup. He gave the fans hope and something to look forward to. The team has a different look when Utley is in the lineup, and it was a terrific feeling to have him back and hitting homers.