The moment made infamous for sports fans in one of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s best episodes finally came true on a very special Friday night. Chase Utley’s jersey retirement came with a lot of special moments, from a unique bobblehead to all the requisite speeches that come with retirement ceremonies. But the highlight for many fans was that Mac finally got to “have a catch” with Chase Utley.
Mac apparently loves Bryce Harper more than Utley now that he signed as a free agent this offseason, but longtime fans of the show know all about what Utley means to co-creator Rob McElhenney’s character, Mac. In an episode titled “The World Series Defense,” the gang chronicles what they did when the Phillies won the World Series back in 2008. Sweet Dee planned to run on the field, and Mac wanted her to deliver a letter he wrote to Utley about, well, just watch.
The bit became an important bit of lore to Phillies fans who loved dark comedies on FX. And the two had interacted before — Utley had a response video of his own years later. Utley also complimented McElhenney when he became Jacked Mac, a physical transformation made even more impressive by him previously being Fat Mac. But on Friday night, with the Phillies retiring Utley’s number, Mac was there to finally “have a catch” with his idol in the form of a very special first pitch before the game.
This was a pinnacle for not only his character, but McElhenney himself. He looks genuinely excited to be there. The Phillies really played this up, too. They introduced McElhenney as “Mac” and had exactly that blazoned on the back of a No. 26 jersey just for him. The announcer said he was “fulfilling his lifelong dream,” which is certainly what it sounds like from the letter he wrote all those years ago.
The two shared a hug afterward, and maybe they even got to talk about their dads for a bit. What a great Philadelphia sports moment. We’ll see if it actually makes it on an episode of Sunny, but either way we’ll always know that Mac’s love did not go unanswered.