PHILADELPHIA -- With one out and one on in the seventh inning of a one-run game on Sunday, Chase Utley came through with a big single -- his 1,500th career hit -- as the Phillies tried to salvage the finale of a four-game series against visiting Atlanta. The hit ended up for naught as Ryan Howard hit a ball back up the middle into the shift and the threat ended in a double play in what became a 3-2 loss.
It's long been understood that Utley cares more about the team and winning than he does about personal milestones. With an All-Star invitation likely, Utley has led National League second basemen in voting since the first results were posted, but his thoughts have remained on a team that is battling to move up the standings in the NL East.
At the same time, after Utley's milestone hit, the home crowd gave him a lengthy ovation after his achievement was announced. Utley gently touched his helmet in appreciation, then went right back to work.
All 1,500 of Utley's hits have been in a Phillies uniform, which places him 12th in club history. He is just 11 hits behind Tony Taylor for the all-time lead among Phillies second basemen. Taylor, who played for the Phillies from 1961-70 and again from 1974-76, finished his career with 2,007 hits with three franchises. Utley is in his 11th season in Philadelphia.
Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.