Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips credits hardest-hit home run to young fan battling cancer

Audrey J. Powers

St. Petersburg, Florida — Observing 8-yr-previous Chloe Grimes talking smack, hitting liners and throwing heat, you would in no way guess she is also battling cancer, and has been, off and on, considering that the age of 2. 

The lady has grit, which is why the Tampa Bay Rays not long ago invited Grimes to toss out a first pitch. She threw it to a participant named Brett Phillips, who now thinks the second was not so a great deal ceremonial as it was serendipitous.

“What a story, suitable?” Phillips explained to CBS Information. “You can’t not consider that there was some divine intervention.”

Phillips, No. 35, is Grimes’ favored participant, even nevertheless he’s not specifically an all-star. He is not the best hitter in the league — “but he’s so awesome,” Grimes informed CBS Information. Her assessment was place-on. 

Phillips will come out 20 minutes before each individual match to talk with little ones, almost to the level of parenting. He will make time for people today, even in the center of enjoy. I’ve never ever viewed a specialist athlete so devoid of bravado, in particular on the working day Grimes walked into his everyday living.

“You know, I had the likelihood to fulfill Chloe for the to start with time and she’s battling most cancers and she brought me these items. She wrote my identify on a softball. Holy cow,” Phillips mentioned in an emotional job interview with Bally Sports activities Sun’s sideline reporter Tricia Whitaker following the video game final week. 

Amid those people items was a bracelet with the slogan “Rally for Chloe Our Princess Warrior,” which he wore through the video game, hoping it would convey him very good luck. Absolutely sure adequate, on that night, he strike a property run. If not for the roof, it might have left the making. 

“It was the toughest ball I’ve hit in my significant league job,” he stated. 

Unnecessary to say, Phillips will not be taking off that bracelet whenever shortly. While Grimes insists that she got the far better gift.

“He gave me spirit to conquer the butt out of cancer,” she mentioned. 

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

“I have been blessed with a platform to unfold joy and like on a daily basis,” he mentioned. 

This week, he surprised Grimes at her house with the household run ball he hit that night time, and cemented their friendship, earning him the best title in experienced sports — most important presence in a kid’s lifetime. 

To contact On the Street, or to send us a tale thought, electronic mail us: [email protected].    

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