Chase Utley: Ellen’s Christmas Gift
By Matt Veasey
From the very first start of his career on April 24th, 2003 when Chase Utley crushed a grand slam off the Rockies Aaron Cook in one of the 43 games he got to play at Veteran’s Stadium, the Phillies 2nd baseman has been beloved by fans of the team.
Following the 2008 World Series victory parade, his “World Champions! World f*cking champions!” public exclamation in front of a packed Citizens Bank Park crowd was seen, not as profane, but as an honest outburst of emotion which the fans shared.
Chase and his wife Jen have also built a strong reputation in the community for their involvement with animals. Specifically with their own The Utley Foundation, and Jen’s work with the Pennsylvania SPCA. Their support for proper treatment of pets has struck a chord with Philly fans.
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Today, Chase built even further on his good will with fans, one fan in particular, on of all places The Ellen Show starring Ellen DeGeneres.
In a series of episodes leading up to Christmas, Ellen has been hosting various special guests and giving away a ton of gifts, with many special surprises, all in the giving spirit of the season.
In today’s episod (video below): Ellen introduced the audience to 23-year old Julie Kramer, who is battling Stage 4 Sarcoma, and has undergone numerous procedures and surgeries in recent months that have damaged her finances, but not her positive spirit.
Julie spoke of how just days after turning 23 back in March, she ran the Phillies 5K race. But experiencing difficulties in the ensuing days, she went to the hospital. This began the process in which she learned that she had cancer.
Ellen presented a gift check for $10,000 from show sponsor Target stores. But that wasn’t the end of the special surprises for Kramer.
Asked about her interest in the team, Kramer said “I am a HUGE Philadelphia Phillies fan. I don’t know if anyone else here is, but go Phillies!” When asked her favorite player, the clearly smitten Kramer said “Chase Utley. 2nd baseman. Number 26. He’s the man!”
“Chase Utley. 2nd baseman. Number 26. He’s the man!” ~ fan Julie Kramer
Ellen then noted for Kramer that the Phillies wanted to give her a few gifts, and said “Chase, would you bring them out?” The clearly stunned Kramer was greeted with a big hug and kiss from Utley, and they sat briefly to talk.
Chase proceeded to ask her how she was doing, to which the excited Kramer replied “Great, I’m sittin’ next to you!” Chase then presented her a goodie box from the Phillies, and invited her to be his guest at any game she wants in the 2015 season. “Come to batting practice, take a tour of the stadium, whatever you want.”
Clearly another great moment from a truly great player and person. We’ve been blessed to have Chase Utley here with us in Philly for more than a decade. Here’s to hoping he’s still around to show Julie Kramer around the ballpark in 2015.