It's An Always Sunny Miracle! Rob McElhenney And Kaitlin Olson Joined Philadelphia Phillies Greats Chase Utley And Bryce Harper To Start MLB Game

 Mac smiling very wide as he holds a baseball glove while talking to Chase Utley outside a hotel in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Mac smiling very wide as he holds a baseball glove while talking to Chase Utley outside a hotel in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

As one of the co-creators behind the longest running live-action TV comedy of all time — as well as one of CinemaBlend’s 100 Best SitcomsIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney has never shied away from showing love to his titular hometown and its memorable people and places. And for the Philadelphia Phillies’ second London game against the New York Mets, McElhenney lived out a wild baseball moment that his fictional counterpart Mac would lose his weird little mind over.

A week or so before the game was set to take place, the news broke that McElhenney would be on hand to throw out the opening pitch for the June 9 game. The MLB had some fun with it by getting Phillies legend Chase Utley and current superstar Bryce Harper together for a video that pondered which of the athletes McElhenney would choose to throw to, considering his Always Sunny character’s long-running adoration for the World Series victor.

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Dennis and Dee at dinner with Frank in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Dennis and Dee at dinner with Frank in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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When the big moment came, and McElhenney strutted out to the mound to throw the pitch, common sense prevailed as Utley’s name was announced as the Welcome to Wrexham star’s intended target. But then out came Kaitlin Olson, and then Harper, as well as the FXX comedy's theme song, culminating in a genuine first for an MLB game (which mirrored the game’s ending in a weird way that we’ll get to lower down). Check out the clip below!

Rather than serving up a traditional first pitch, the It's Always Sunny stars teamed with Utley and Harper for an unexpected "first ever ceremonial double play," as it was announced within London Stadium. What was expected, however, was the huge wave of cheers from the crowd each time something new happened. Definitely one of the coolest sports/comedy mash-ups that I can think of, and it happened all the way around the world.

The fact that it took place in London speaks to the efforts that were made, considering it required the presence of not only Chase Utley, but two TV stars without direct ties to the MLB, though it's possible McElhenney was in the UK for something related to the Wrexham AFC. In any case, it's always great to see McElhenney and Olson out and about together, around a year after unfounded rumors spread about their potential split (which they responded to quite brilliantly).

It was a moment that both reversed and eclipsed Rob McElhenney's previous trip to an MLB field. He was brought out to catch the first pitch from Chase Utley to honor the latter's then-recent retirement back in 2019, and it was a dream come true for the actor. So I can only imagine that this was like the Lethal Weapon 6 to the earlier Lethal Weapon 5, just without any problematic makeup.

Weirdly enough, that amazing start to the game was a possible omen for how things would end: it was reportedly only the eighth time in the history of professional baseball where a game ended on a ground ball double play to the catcher, and only the fifth instance where there were runners on base as the tying or go-ahead scores. And the win went to the New York Mets, which kind of tracks for anything coming out of the Always Sunny-verse.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's History With Chase Utley

Back in Season 5's classic episode "The World Series Defense," it's revealed that Mac wrote a semi-love letter to Chase Utley and had Dee deliver it to the athlete. Utley actually responded to that infamous letter in a 2013 edition of Phillies Mailbag, where he presented it as if it was penned by a real-life fan, a wild moment that was later canonized on the series itself.

Before that, though, Utley made his first on-screen appearance along with teammate Ryan Howard in Season 6's "The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods," during which Dennis and Charlie (posing as Frank and Mac) actually meet the MLB stars, sending Mac photographic proof of the encounter.

Then in Season 16, which aired in 2023, Mac finally got his (monkey's paw) wish to meet Utley, although under dishonest circumstances, as the retired second baseman was of the belief that he'd be playing catch with Mac's "dying son." Here's hoping Utley bond with McElhenney continues growing to the point where he joins the Gang in Season 20 or something.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is currently in the build-up stage for Season 17, which will arrive at an undisclosed date. But all 16 current seasons are available to stream with a Hulu subscription. And stay tuned for Kaitlin Olson's new ABC show High Potential, which sounds like it'll be a hoot.