Take it Slow and Enjoy the Process

Chase Utley is a second basemen for the Dodgers, and a Long Beach Poly graduate if you didn't know, class of '97 to be exact. In high school Utley was said to have the fastest hands his coach had ever seen, had a .500 average, and struck out only twice in 80 at bats during his senior year. He also received All-American honors, and set a single season record for home-runs (14). In 1997 he was drafted by the Dodgers, but turned down the $850,000 contract to attend UCLA. He began his career as a second basemen for the Bruins, and as a junior his batting average was .382, and he hit 22 home-runs! Utley lead the Bruins to the NCAA Super Regionals, and was selected for the All Pac-10 team, Sporting News, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers first team All-American teams. The Phillies drafted him in the first round with their 15th in 2000, but he didn't make his debut until 2003 as a pinch hitter against the Pirates. On April 24th Utley recorded his first major league hit, which resulted in a grand slam against the Rockies. Despite his potential he was stuck playing behind second basemen Placido Palanco playing in 94 games, and recorded 13 homers, 57 RBIs, and had a batting average of .266. The next year Palanco was traded, and Utley finally got his time to shine notching 28 homeruns, 105 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, and a AVG of .291 to earn the Mike Schmidt MVP Award. After being selected for the MLB All-Star game for the 2nd time in 07 Utley was hit by a pitch, and broke a bone in his finger resulting in surgery, and him being put on the disabled list for 15 days. He came backand picked up right where he left off going 3 for 5 at bat with one homer, and a RBI double. He finished the season with 22 home-runs, 105 RBIs, 48 doubles, had a AVG of .332, lead the Phillies to their first playoff appearance in 14 seasons, and a NL East division title. In 2008 Utley lead his team to their first World Series Championship since the 80s. He ended the regular season with 33 home-runs, 104 RBIs, 177 hits, and 113 runs, In the World Series he hit 2 homers, and fans voted him for This Year in Baseballs: Postseason Moment of the Year for his fake and throw to home base in game 5. The next season Utley had a perfect stolen base percentage with a total of 23 steals, and was #6 on Sporting New's list of 50 greatest current players. The Phillies made it back to the World Series in 09 where Utley hit a total of 5 home-runs tying Reggie Jackson for most homers in a World Series despite falling to the Yankees. Later that year he received second basemen honors for the MLB All-Decade team. Utley stayed with the Phillies till the 2015 season where he was traded to the Dodgers. As a Dodger Utley has hit 17 home-runs, 91 RBIs, and his average is just over .200. Chase Utley is an athlete that knew his worth, took his time, and enjoyed every bit of it. When his time came he showed exactly why he deserved his spot, and that's why his career is what it is today! At the end of the day talent speaks for itself, and the proof are athletes like Chase Utley.