Tonight, the Philadelphia Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park to open a seven-game home stand, following a rocky 1-5 road trip against the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.
While fans would like to see the Phillies rebound with Aaron Nola on the mound, the headliner of the series opener against the Miami Marlins will not be the right-handed ace, but rather 2008 World Series champion second baseman Chase Utley.
Like franchise hits leader Jimmy Rollins' retirement night earlier this season (May 4), Utley, too, will be honored as he officially retires from Major League Baseball in red pinstripes at the sold-out Toyota Chase Utley Retirement Night.
The call.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 21, 2019
The Man. pic.twitter.com/Yh8l4rgHtN
An iconic play at a pivotal moment. pic.twitter.com/59WpixZd0h— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 21, 2019
Fans should be in their seats by 6:40 p.m. for a special pre-game ceremony, which will also feature a "surprise catcher" — likely Carlos Ruiz — for the ceremonial first pitch, according to the Phillies. The ceremony will be streamed live on phillies.com, as well as on the Phillies' official Facebook and Twitter accounts.
All fans will receive an Utley Bobble Figurine. Limited edition merchandise commemorating "The Man's" retirement will be available at retail locations throughout Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies will wear this Chase Utley patch on their uniform sleeve tonight and give out this bobble head. pic.twitter.com/QLgoubvMqc— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) June 21, 2019
Utley, 40, is considered one of the greatest players to ever don a Phillies uniform. Drafted 15th overall in the 2000 amateur draft, Utley started in all six of his All-Star appearances and captured four Silver Slugger Awards. The Pasadena, California, native is the Phillies franchise leader, among second basemen, in games played (1,453), home runs (226), hits (1,580), RBI (883) and extra-base hits (616).
Utley played in parts of 13 seasons with the Phillies from 2003 to 2015. He finished his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2015 to 2018, and is now a pre- and post-game analyst for Spectrum SportsNet LA.
After Friday, the Phillies will next celebrate Ryan Howard's career with a similar retirement ceremony on July 14.