Tampa Bay Rays right-fielder Brett Phillips has always had a special relationship with fans. Phillips is known as always being friendly and having a great smile and good laugh and attitude, but he took it to another level last week with Chloe Grimes, last Tuesday’s Champion with a Dream club participant. Chloe had the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch to Phillips. In addition to battling cancer, Chloe Grimes is a softball player and had a good arm and threw a great pitch to Phillips.
What happens next is what made this event extra-special. Chloe had given Phillips a bracelet from her to wear for good luck. Well, it was definitely good on that day because in the background of Chloe giving an interview to Trisha Whittaker, Rays sportscaster, telling her that Brett Phillips was her favorite player, Phillips hit an outstanding home-run wearing Chloe’s bracelet! In fact, he hit it so hard it got stuck in the C-ring at the top of Tropicana’s dome and was retrieved for Chloe by staff members.
What was poignant about this moment was that Brett Phillips had no idea he was being spoken of in a live interview in the background with this happening at the same time. When Brett Phillips is told after the game what happened, he starts crying, owing his good luck to Chloe, and said, ”You would never know she was battling cancer. Just the joy and energy she brought…I mean, perspective for me each and every day. It puts my career in perspective and how I come out here every day and treat everyone with love and respect and Chloe just adds to the story.” Brett added that that was his hardest hit, longest-distance ball that he’s hit and plans to wear the bracelet that says “Rally for Chloe, Our Princess” for the rest of the season.