Chase Utley takes out ad in Philly papers to thank Phillies fans (pic)
Chase Utley, one of the most beloved, celebrated and admired Philadelphia Phillies players in some time, returned the love to the fans who passionately cheered for him during his stellar, 12-plus career with the team by taking out an ad in both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News to thank them for all their support.
Utley was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday, leaving many Phillies fans heartbroken over the departure of one of the team’s iconic players from its run to the 2008 World Series championship.
The ad, as transcribed by Crossing Broad, reads in part.
Thank you Philadelphia for taking me under your wing 12 years ago. It has been an honor and a dream come true to play for a city with so much passion. I feel extremely lucky to have played for an organization with so many incredible people.
Thank you David Montgomery for having the gift to make everyone around you feel important. I am proud to have been a part of your vision for the organization. I’ve played for several impactful coaches over the years, but Charlie Manuel stands alone for what he has meant to me. His patience, encouragement and faith in his team created a sense of confidence that his players will never forget. Most importantly, I would like to say thank you to my teammates, old and new. I will forever cherish the times that we had…
Citizens Bank Park is like no other stadium. The support, encouragement and energy that all of you brought on a daily basis was empowering. We have had quite a ride together and I will never forget 2008. WFC forever!
Thanks again Philly, I will miss you.
The ballplayer’s ad echoed the sentiments he expressed following the announcement of the trade during a late-night press conference last week.
“The hardest part is leaving the city of Philadelphia,” he said. “They’ve been so good to me and so supportive of me over the years that I can’t thank them enough for it. But I’ll try.”
Athletes taking out ads in newspapers after leaving a city is nothing new (here and here), but it still is refreshing to see and certainly means a lot to the legions of fans they left behind.