Christmas 2022 magazine ad

Brett Phillips traded to Orioles, gifts special glove to young Rays fan battling cancer

Brett Phillips learned Tuesday he’d been traded to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations, ending a two-year run with the Tampa Bay Rays, his hometown team. But before he left town, he made an important stop to see a friend.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

Phillips paid a visit to Chloe Grimes, a young softball player in her second battle with cancer. Phillips is her favorite player, and the two met before a game in April. Then during the game while Chloe was being interviewed on the local TV broadcast, Phillips hit a home run.

He learned about the special moment after the game and got emotional talking about the inspiration Chloe was to him.

โ€œIโ€™m praying for you Chloe, and your family,โ€ย he said in an on-field interview with Bally Sports. โ€œYouโ€™re really cool and that homer was for you.โ€

The next day, Phillips announced his “Baseball is Fun” brand and the Rays Baseball Foundation would help pay Chloe’s medical bills.

A six-year MLB veteran, Phillips was designated for assignment by the Rays on Monday after the team acquired outfielder Josรฉ Siri from the Houston Astros as part of a three-team trade. The Rays sent out a video on social media Tuesday thanking Phillips for his contributions and for reminding everyone baseball is fun.

Phillips also sent out a video thanking Rays fans for their support and encouraging them to continue cheering on the team.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure and honor to play for my hometown team,” he said in the video. “It sucks, but we all know business is business. I’m going to dust myself off and keep moving forward.”

Phillips’ visit to Chloe came as a surprise and also featured a gift. He gave her a glove the two of them designed together and was brought to life by Wilson. He also sent a tweet asking people to continue praying for her.

Phillips’ most memorable moment during his time with the Rays came on the biggest stage. He hit a walk-off single to win Game 4 of the 2020 World Series and tie the series at two games apiece. It was the first postseason hit of his career. Afterward, he thanked God for putting him in a position to become a World Series hero.

Phillips โ€” who has Isaiah 41:10 in his Twitter and Instagram bios โ€” came on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in March 2018 to talk about his faith journey, and returned to the podcast in September 2021. In his second appearance on the show, Phillips reflected on the World Series and explained why God is the source of the joy he always has on the field.

Ultimately, the 28-year-old wants all the glory and credit for his baseball career to go to God.

โ€œI play because of Him and I play for Him,โ€ Phillips said on the podcast in 2018. โ€œAnd I play just because Heโ€™s blessed me with the gifts and the opportunity, not me. Iโ€™ve got nothing to do with it.โ€

He may not have to wait very long to return to Tampa, as the Orioles have a three-game series at Tropicana Field starting Aug. 12.

RELATED STORIES:
Brett Phillips hits home run for 8-year-old battling cancer while she’s being interviewed
TABLE FORTY PODCAST: Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder Brett Phillips & Wife Bri
SS PODCAST: Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips on baseball, Bible studies & FUN
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips thanks God after becoming World Series hero
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips embraces role as ‘keep-it-simple’ coach