On their night off, a gaggle of Phillies joined teammate Chase Utley and his wife, Jennifer, yesterday for a fund-raiser to benefit the Pennsylvania SPCA.
Utley All-Star Animals, held at F.U.E.L. gallery in Old City, raised $200,000 through a casino night.
Among the Phils in the house were Cole Hamels (and wife Heidi), Jimmy Rollins (with girlfriend Johari), Ryan Howard, Brett Myers (with wife Kim), Pat Burrell (with wife Michelle), Adam Eaton, Shane Victorino, So Taguchi and Jamie Moyer. Comcast SportsNet's Michael Barkann was emcee.
The Utleys live in Los Angeles and Center City Philadelphia with two cats they rescued, Sebastian and Sugar.
Chase Utley, who grew up in Southern California with dogs, cats, birds and an iguana, pointed to his wife, Jennifer, when asked who was the brains behind the event.
"I've always loved working with animals, and I visited the SPCA and I liked the direction they are headed in," said Jen Utley, a board member. "They're trying to make a substantive difference." She said the fund-raiser has been in the making for a year.
(Chase Utley also laughed off a question about his being named one of Men's Fitness magazine's 25 Fittest Guys in America. "Lots of guys do the same workout," he said.)
The Phils are a team of animal owners, despite the life on the road. Moyer and his family live in Seattle with two yellow Labs, Nike and Puma; a 300-gallon saltwater aquarium; and a cat the family found drinking from a puddle outside a Dairy Queen in Indiana.
Taguchi has two Chihuahuas, Poco and Maro, whom he and his wife, Emiko, shuttle between their homes here and in Japan. Asked about the ordeal of getting them through customs, he said: "But they're family."
The Hamelses have a white Maltese named Royce. (It's easy to imagine the former Heidi Strobel, a brainy bombshell who appeared on TV's Survivor and in the pages of Playboy, toting a lap dog.)
As for Jayson Werth, when asked about his pet ownership, he gave a wan smile and mentioned the Weimaraner he had when he was with the Dodgers and had to give away. "I guess that makes me a reverse-rescuer," he said.
After the event, the Utleys visited the Continental Mid-town, and owner Stephen Starr sent over champagne for a toast.