Brett Phillips of the Tampa Bay Rays has proven himself to be a star player both on and off the field. When his number one fan, an 8-year-old little girl battling cancer, threw the first pitch in their game against the Athletics, his life was forever flipped upside down.
Chloe Grimes has been battling cancer on and off since the age of 2. As a long-time fan of the Tampa Bay Rays, she was given the opportunity to throw the first pitch of the game. She cited Phillips as her favorite player in the league, not for his playing skills, but because he has a nice smile and is “so nice,” according to Grimes herself.
While he did hit a home run during the game, he proved that he lives up to his description as “nice.” After she threw the first pitch, she emerged into an all-engulfing hug from her favorite player.
With a smile stretching from ear to ear, the child explained in an interview how much she loves Phillips and even copied his signature “airplane” move for the cameras to see. Of course, the Rays outfielder had nothing but positive sentiments to share in regards to Chloe.
Brett Phillips discusses meeting Chloe Grimes for the first time
“You know, I had the chance to meet Chloe for the first time and she’s battling cancer and she brought me these gifts. She wrote my name on a softball. Holy cow,” the baseball player shared in a post-game interview, wiping away tears as he continued. He showed off the bracelet Grimes gifted him which held the sentiments “Rally for Chloe Our Princess Warrior.”
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Phillips was spotted wearing the bracelet during the game, which he said gave him the strength to hit the homer. “Chloe, you’re an inspiration,” he said. “I think that’s the hardest ball I’ve hit in my career. I’m praying for you guys … I hope I can meet Chloe again in the future.”
He also went on to explain that moments like those are what make his career worthwhile. Noting that a child’s smile is more valuable than any home run, Phillips expressed, “Just the joy and energy she brought. It’s tough but it puts my career in perspective and how I come out here every day and treat everyone with love and respect. Chloe, you add to the story, and I appreciate you.”
Following the game, the MLB star surprised Chloe at her home and gifted her the game-day home run ball. Needless to say, both parties were ecstatic.
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