By Todd Zolecki, phillies.com
This has been Chase Utley‘s best season since 2010.
He entered Monday’s series opener against the Marlins hitting .274 with 24 doubles, six triples, 16 home runs, 58 RBIs and an .812 OPS. It is his best OPS since he had an .832 mark in 2010 and ranks fourth among 18 qualifying second basemen in baseball this season.
Utley also earned recognition for his off-the-field contributions, when he was named Monday the Phillies’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. The award recognizes a Major Leaguer who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on the field and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Tuesday is Roberto Clemente Day throughout Major League Baseball, a day instituted on the 30th anniversary of his passing in 1972 to keep alive Clemente’s spirit of giving. Voting runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 6 at chevybaseball.com as fans help decide which of the 30 club winners will receive this prestigious recognition. The nominees were chosen based on their dedication to giving back to the community, as well as their outstanding ability on the field.
The Utley family raised about $398,000 at the sixth annual Utley All-Star Animals event on May 15. The Utley Foundation’s flagship event is an invite-only annual casino night held in Philadelphia that raises money for the Etana Fund at the Pennslyvania SPCA.
Each year Utley also donates a full season ticket plan to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The foundation and The Mural Arts Foundation in Philadelphia hosts a “Be Kind to Animals” mural dedication each year at a different school. It will dedicate a mural Wednesday at Universal Vare Charter Middle School.