The Fightins'
FLASHBACK! Chase Utley’s first career hit is a grand slam
Posted by at 8:55 am ET 71 Comments

Let us hark back to the time when a 24-year old upstart named Chase Utley got called up to the bigs for the first time, shall we?

Early on in the season in 2003 — April 15th to be exact — then-Phillies second basemen Placido Polanco got hit by a Josh Beckett fastball smack dab on his finger which forced him out of the game. While he waited for his finger to heal, utility man Tomas Perez filled in (admirably, I might add) at second. But nine days later, Placido realized the pain was far too bad to even grip a bat, so the Phillies retroactive’d him to the DL and called up this skinny little punk from UCLA named Chase Utley to take his roster spot.

Then, on April 24th, Chase made his first start as an MLBer batting in the 8-hole behind David Bell (hahahhahahhahah), and in his very first at-bat*… he flew out to shallow left. BUT, on his second, Chase absolutely CRUSHED an Aaron Cook pitch and hit a grand slam to right scoring Jim Thome, Mike Lieberthal, and David Bell.

Watch it:

(clip taken from CSN Philly’s “The Chase Rolls On”)

*Whoops. Forgot about this.

  • Joe

    Just got all tingly watching that.

  • Adam Eaton


  • MaxL

    Good shit, meech.

  • tbear


  • That Guy’s Juice

    Love it! :)

  • Aaron

    THE MAN!

  • Greg V.

    I was at this game and I remember I had hardly heard of the guy (this was before I was really following the farm system). And sure enough, he hits a grand slam off Aaron Cook! Probably one of my all time favorite Phillies moments that I was actually present for. Didn’t forget his name after that and sure enough, he became much more than just a clutch grand slam!

  • BillyBob

    Sadly I was not able to be there for Chase’s first hit. I was there for his first at bat though, which was 20 days earlier on April 4th for the home opener. He struck out and was booed by the crowd. Jim Thome also struck out in that game. He was not booed.


    Shit, I was there for the 2003 opener, and I completely forgot Chase got an AB that day.

    I do remember it was rainy and cold and Reggie Sanders hit a grand slam before I even got in the stadium. Those were the days.

  • Pasadena_Phan

    Was good to hear Harry welcome Chase… *Missing. Harry. Bad*

  • CT

    it was great to hear harry’s voice

  • Morandini Turned Three

    Awful lotta empty blue seats at that game. My how things have changed.

  • Sal Fasano’s Beard

    “Chase Utley, you are the man!”

  • Jon

    I was at that game. I will never forget it as long as I live.

  • GTO

    Goose bumps. Yay baseball!

  • Mike K

    In a way that only Chase F’n Utley would, he sprinted around the bases as if his life depeneded on it. Awesome.

  • GTO

    P.S. FSU is gonna get owned Wednesday

  • will.H

    i was there for the reggie sanders HR too. phils and pirates wore throw backs. pirates looked ridiculous. phils got destroyed and it might have beeen 38 degrees.

  • christina

    The most amazing part of this at bat was that Lieberthal and Bell were on base.

  • WeaponX20



  • Dave

    I remember talking to my friend in college about this after it happened. We both agreed that Chase was going to be special, but I don’t think we could have imagined how special he would be.

    Did you have to bring up David Bell, though? I’ve always hated his time with the Phils. I actually celebrated when they traded him to Milwaukee.

  • Undocorkscrew

    That’s nothing compared to what Jordan Schafer did in his very first at-bat, coincidentally against the Phillies and Citizens Bank Park. The little guy hit the very first pitch he seen over the wall in straight away center. Shortly after, he went on a pace to break a major-league record, but he was sent down after the McLouth trade.

  • Justin

    Yeah, seriously, was Bell on third? Because he may have just been confused as to what half of the inning it was. I honestly see no other plausible reason for him to be out there.

  • Poster Nutbag

    it really is amazing that chase utley played at the vet…or that the phillies ever played at the vet (seems so long ago!).

  • will.H

    undo, if jordan schafer becomes a .300, 30HR, 100RBI guy, he might compare to Utley. For now he’s fighting for a roster spot after the blockbuster Melky Cabrera deal.

  • will.H

    Utley also grounded into a double play to end the Vet. To save face, the day before (against the braves) he hit a walk off single for the last win ever at the ol Vet.

  • T-Mac

    I think that kid might turn out to be a decent player. Especially if he gets some OPPO BOPPO power!

  • GTO

    Will.H, is it possible to save face before you have a reason to save face? I was unaware that Utley could go back in time to save future face. My head hurts.

    I am now in the know. Thank you sir.

  • will.H

    GTO hes close friends with doc brown. read your Utley bio.

  • Diane

    In true Chase Utley fashion, he’s running the bases as if he were trying to beat a play to the plate!! Gotta love him! Awesome to hear HK!!

  • GTO

    I need to go back and re-read all the bios.

  • tineymat

    Love! This made my day!

  • Undocorkscrew

    @ will H….

    Schafer has already been compared to Mantle, so I’m clueless as to why you think he’s fighting for a roster spot. He’s rehabbing a broken left wrist.

    Before his injury, he was on pace to break a pretty well-known MLB record.

  • Pat

    Undo, he hit a home run off of Brett Myers. Cliff Lee could hit a home run off of Brett Myers

  • Pat

    And Undo is being COMPARED to mantle. what does that mean? That really doesn’t mean anything. Utley is being decribed as one of the best second basemen of all time.


    Before his injury, he was on pace to break a pretty well-known MLB record.

    Wade Boggs’ most beers consumed on a team flight record?

  • Pat

    Schafer is being compared*

  • D. Whitmore

    I’ll give Schafer one thing, that little guy could still go back and play some highschool baseball if he wanted.

  • Undocorkscrew

    @ meech

    Nope, it’s actually an MLB record that has to do with the game.

  • Undocorkscrew

    ….and btw, take a look at the 2010 NL Rookie of The Year.

    ….and comeback player of the year:

  • Pete D

    Please understand that no one cares about Jordan Schafer. You may now return to “Talking Chop” over at your chop talking website.


  • Phylan

    Sorry but Norton isn’t going to OPS over .700 this year. Also, I’m not sure what record you thought Schafer was going to set prior to his wrist injury, but may I humbly suggest K rate (37.7%)?

  • Suz

    I remember laughing at how quickly he was running around the bases. It was fantastic.


    37.7%? That’s better (or worse, depending on your POV) than Francoeur!

  • Pat

    I think the funniest statement in this whole video is “thanks to a crowded infield, Utley’s first full season in the majors had to wait until 2005”

  • Fitz

    Schafer was sent down in May because he was hitting .204/.313/.287.

    The Braves have McClouth and Melky.

    I’d say fighting for a roster spot is a pretty accurate description.

  • will.H

    Jordan Shafer: Mickey Mantle::Susan Boyle:Kira Knightley

    im wondering who made that first comparison, and why.

  • Undocorkscrew

    Phylan was the first to guess it!

    And come on guys, it’s pretty obvious that I wasn’t being serious about the kid(or Greg Norton, obviously).

    Was no kidding, however, regarding Jason Heyward.

  • PhillyCuban

    @ GTO

    That post made me think of Lost, which is also what I thought about since I read recaps that always say FLASHBACK WHOOSH to whatever. Actually thought I saw the whoosh part in the title of this post


    Did we just get punk’d by Undocorkscrew?

    Gotta appreciate anyone who comes into hostile territory and pretends to be a n00b.

  • will.H


  • Undocorkscrew


  • Muscles

    I was a closet david bell fan….

  • I want to go to the zoo with Roy Halladay

    Ricky Jordan sighs

  • fuck the mets


  • Fitz

    justin timberlake’d

  • Phylan

    I’m pretty sure I just got owned by a Braves fan, ritual suicide incoming

  • Ray

    @ will h. “im wondering who made that first comparison, and why.”

    i was going to jocularly suggest it was steve phillips due to his utter inability to spot talent, but then i realized that the opening night game was on espn and it very well may have been him

  • tom

    did they give him the silent treatment? i love that..

  • Phylan

    I guess Minaya has kept his job so long because of the bar that Steve Phillips managed to lower so effectively

  • Undocorkscrew


    The comparison was made by 3-year IMDb user ‘monk.’

  • Blaise

    I love Utley.

  • Tug Haines



  • Jayson’s beard

    someone has a box score of that game? i wanna know how bell reached on base

  • Ricky Otero

    Wow, The Vet, Vukovich, Kalas, and Empty Seats. Things have changed! I love Utley running the bases like he is trying to leg out a triple.

  • Phylan

    @Jayson’s beard:

    It reads “single to 2B” in the play by play which sounds like he hit a grounder, the 2B made a shitty play, and the scorekeeper was generous.

    Also of note in that game, Cormier keeps it Rheal for 1.1 IP to cement the victory

  • BD

    ill salute any man women or child who makes a pun out of below average lefty relievers name

  • Amanda


  • Andy

    Utley, Kalas, the Vet…nostalgic. Can’t wait for Thursday!!!

  • Peacock

    I was at the opener that season and I was there for the first hit. I believe it was his first start and I was excited to see what he could do. Who knew?

  • Mary

    Best part of that – hearing Harry Kalas call that shot!

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