Brett Phillips credits home run to young fan battling cancer

Audrey J. Powers

St. Petersburg, Florida — Watching 8-12 months-outdated Chloe Grimes talking smack, hitting liners and throwing warmth, you’d never guess she is also fighting most cancers, and has been, off and on, given that the age of 2.

The female has grit, which is why the Tampa Bay Rays just lately invited Grimes to toss out a first pitch. She threw it to a player named Brett Phillips, who now believes the moment wasn’t so substantially ceremonial as it was serendipitous.

“What a story, ideal?” Phillips informed CBS News. “You are unable to not assume that there was some divine intervention.”

Phillips, No. 35, is Grimes’ beloved participant, even although he is not precisely an all-star. He is not the finest hitter in the league — “but he is so nice,” Grimes informed CBS Information. Her assessment was spot-on.

Phillips will come out 20 minutes in advance of each game to converse with little ones, practically to the point of parenting. He will make time for persons, even in the center of participate in. I’ve under no circumstances noticed a expert athlete so devoid of bravado, particularly on the working day Grimes walked into his existence.

“You know, I had the chance to fulfill Chloe for the 1st time and she’s battling most cancers and she brought me these items. She wrote my identify on a softball. Holy cow,” Phillips claimed in an psychological job interview with Bally Sporting activities Sun’s sideline reporter Tricia Whitaker following the match previous 7 days.

Amongst all those presents was a bracelet with the slogan “Rally for Chloe Our Princess Warrior,” which he wore all through the match, hoping it would provide him fantastic luck. Positive enough, on that night time, he hit a property operate. If not for the roof, it might have remaining the setting up.

“It was the most difficult ball I have strike in my significant league occupation,” he stated.

Unnecessary to say, Phillips will not likely be getting off that bracelet anytime soon. While Grimes insists that she got the superior present.

“He gave me spirit to defeat the butt out of most cancers,” she reported.

To Phillips, her smile is what baseball is all about.

“I have been blessed with a platform to spread joy and love on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

This week, he amazed Grimes at her house with the home operate ball he hit that night time, and cemented their friendship, earning him the best title in professional sports activities — most valuable presence in a kid’s lifetime.

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