Oct. 16, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Former UCLA baseball standout Chase Utley has helped the Philadelphia Phillies capture the 2008 National League Championship and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1993. Philadelphia defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, Wednesday evening at Dodger Stadium to send the Phillies to their sixth World Series in franchise history.
Utley, who starred at UCLA from 1998-2000, batted .353 (6-for-17) with one home run and two doubles in a five-game National League Championship Series (NLCS). Utley sparked Philadelphia to a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series, clubbing a two-run game-tying homer in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Phillies' All-Star second baseman finished the series having drawn six walks and scored four runs in five games.
Utley becomes the 15th Bruin baseball player to have led his major league team to the World Series. Last October, Utley's former UCLA teammate Garrett Atkins guided the Colorado Rockies to their first-ever appearance in the Fall Classic.
Philadelphia awaits the winner of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. The Phillies will play at either Boston or Tampa Bay in Game 1 on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Game times are to be announced, and all contests will be broadcast live on FOX.
UCLA's baseball alumni have competed in the World Series on 28 occasions and have won a collective 15 titles. Most recently, Dave Roberts guided the Boston Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title, snapping Boston's 86-year drought without a World Series championship.
Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers) and Bobby Brown (New York Yankees) were the first former Bruins to play in the World Series when their teams met in the 1947 Fall Classic - the Yankees defeated the Dodgers in seven games. Robinson made six trips to the World Series, the most of any former UCLA ballplayer.
Brown finished his major league career with four World Series titles, more than any former Bruin baseball player. Brown guided the New York Yankees to championships in 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1951.
Only two other former UCLA ballplayers - Chris Chambliss and Jeff Conine - have been a part of multiple World Series championship teams. Chambliss led the Yankees to the 1977 and 1978 World Series titles after having appeared in the 1976 World Series. Conine helped carry the Florida Marlins to the World Series titles in the franchise's only two Fall Classic appearances (1997, 2003).
Troy Glaus, a standout UCLA infielder from 1995-97, has been the only former Bruin to capture World Series MVP honors. Glaus led the Anaheim Angels to the 2002 World Series title, defeating the San Francisco Giants in seven games.