Utley reflects on his mother's positive influences
As a kid, low-key Phillies star developed good eating habits, love for animals
It comes to nobody's surprise that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley tries to keep a low profile, World Series championship speeches notwithstanding.
The less he says the better.
The more he remains out of the spotlight the better.
"I probably get that from my mother," Utley said recently. "She's kind of quiet."
Sunday is Mother's Day, but the Phillies will be spending it finishing up a four-game series against Arizona at Chase Field. But the Phillies annually honor a player's mother, so last Sunday in the series finale against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, they honored Utley's mother, Terrell, who was in attendance.
Utley recalled some of her influences on him growing up.
"She's always preached being fairly independent, taking care of yourself, that's the most important thing," he said. "I've used that over the course of the years."
He has said in the past how his mother's love of animals rubbed off on him. The Utleys, who grew up in Long Beach, Calif., had dogs, cats and birds. They had a couple of turtles, even an iguana.
Perhaps that early love is one small reason why Utley and his wife, Jen, are so involved with the Pennsylvania SPCA. The Utleys will host their sixth annual Utley All-Star Animals Casino Night on Wednesday at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia.
"She was always supportive in whatever I wanted to do," Utley added, "not just playing baseball. But whatever my interests were at the time. She was supportive of that.
"She liked to cook. I think I got some of my positive eating habits from her. She was interested in healthy foods and I think that rubbed off on me. I remember her cooking and putting together healthy meals. I think over the years, it kind of became a regiment."
Utley's parents, Dave and Terrell, routinely visit their son at the ballpark when the Phillies are playing on the West Coast. They try to make it to Philadelphia at least once a season and definitely during the postseason. And now that Chase and Jen have a son, Ben, they get a few more visits in the offseason, too.
"She's great," Utley said of his mother. "She definitely makes an effort to see her grandson, and every time she sees him, she just wants to spend the whole day with him, which is great."
Utley said fatherhood has him appreciating the job his mother did.
"Once you have a child, you realize what it's like to be a parent," he said. "I think it changes your perspective."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.