How's that for a homecoming?
Los Angeles second baseman Chase Utley returned to Philadelphia on Tuesday for the first time since he was traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers a year ago, and the City of Brotherly Love gave their favorite son, some brotherly love in return.
Utley is the Dodgers leadoff hitter and the Phillies organization paid homage to their 13-year second baseman and World Series Champion by greeting him with his old walk up music when he entered the batter's box to start the game.
As Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," blasted over the Citizens Bank Park sound system, fans in attendance rose to their feet to cheer their hero as the entire stadium gave him a standing ovation.
The rousing ovation lasted over 90 seconds and Utley took the time to tip his cap to each section of the stadium while pointing at former teammate Ryan Howard at first base.
Howard is one of two players on the Phillies who was on the 2008 championship team that saw Philadelphia defeat Andrew Freidman's Tampa Bay Rays in five games to grab the World Series trophy.
Utley and right-handed reliever Joe Blanton are two of seven total active players on the Dodgers who were also on that team.
Last week, Utley homered in his second at-bat against his former team at Dodger Stadium and after a five-pitch strikeout in his first at-bat, a flyout in his second at-bat, Utley gave the fans what they wanted when he homered to deep right-center off Vince Velasquez in his third at-bat.
For an encore, Utley hit a grand slam in the top of the seventh, and received a third standing ovation, followed by a third curtain call.
For the first time in recent memory, Utley received a standing ovation from the opposing team's fans as he ran around the bases and the six-time Phillies All-Star came out for a curtain call after he returned to the dugout.
The class and prestige presented by Phillies fans on Tuesday is certainly something this sports writer will never forget, and must be a huge sigh of relief for Utley who was worried just one week ago that he could be booed by his former team when he returned.
"I hope not," he said last week at Dodger Stadium when asked if he thought he would be booed. "It might be a bit emotional."
Thankfully for Utley, the fans reacted appropriately for a player of his caliber and we imagine that Tuesday was even more emotional than the 37-year-old expected on the flight to Philadelphia.
Congrats, Chase. You've earned it.
Chase Utley's HR just put the Dodgers up 3-1 against his former team, the Phillies in PA and the fans gave him an amazing standing ovation! — Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 17, 2016
The only thing less surprising than Utley homering in this game is Phillies fans giving him a standing ovation after hitting the home run. — Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) August 17, 2016
Not sure I've ever seen a visiting player get a standing O & curtain call for hitting a HR in Philadelphia. But Chase Utley just got both. — Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 17, 2016