The last time the Philadelphia Phillies won a World Series, Rob McElhenney's character in the hit sitcom "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" was plotting a way to get a letter to then-Phillies star Chase Utley.
Fast forward to 2022, with the Phillies in another World Series, McElhenney was catching a pitch from the same man.
The Phillies had some fun before Game 4 of the 2022 World Series, inviting Utley and former teammate Jimmy Rollins to throw the first pitch alongside former manager Charlie Manuel. To catch them, the Phillies invited two of their most famous fans: McElhenney, the creator and star of "Always Sunny" and film star Miles Teller.
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) November 2, 2022
"Always Sunny" fans likely remember the reason behind the Utley-McElhenney connection.
In the season five episode "The World Series Defense," McElhenney's character Mac demanded another character, Dee, played by McElhenney's wife Kaitlin Olson, run onto the field to Utley and pass him a letter. Dee questions if Mac has written a love letter to Utley and reads the note out loud, while noting Mac had attached stickers.
The full text of the letter (we are unfortunately not able to include the stickers):
I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so much alike. I would love to meet you some day, it would be great to have a catch. I know I can't throw as fast as you but I think you'd be impressed with my speed.
I love your hair, you run fast. Did you have a good relationship with your father? Me neither. These are all things we can talk about and more. I know you have not been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did. And I hope you write back this time, and we get to become good friends.
I am sure our relationship would be a real home run.
The comically hopeless letter has turned into a classic moment in the "Always Sunny" fandom. Utley actually responded to his fictional fan back when he was still playing for the Phillies, saying having a game of catch sounded fun, but he was unfortunately too busy playing professional baseball.
Mac/McElhenney actually had his request granted in 2019 during Utley's number retirement ceremony, but then Utley and the Phillies ended up doing him one better.
Aside from the first pitch, McElhenney has been active in the sports world lately, thanks to his purchase of Welsh soccer club Wrexham alongside Ryan Reynolds. The pair's highs and lows of team ownership has been documented in the Hulu series "Welcome to Wrexham."