TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It was an emotional night at Tropicana Field Tuesday when Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips hit a home run wearing a lucky bracelet from an 8-year-old girl battling cancer.
“Not many things give me chills,” sideline reporter and host for the Tampa Bay Rays, Tricia Whitaker tweeted.
Whitaker was interviewing 8-year-old Chloe Grimes, who was recently diagnosed with cancer for a second time when Phillips stepped up to the plate during the 3rd inning. Midway through the live interview, Phillips crushed an 83 mph pitch to right field.
“Chloe, do you know what just happened?” Whitaker asked in the interview. “Brett Phillips just hit a home run,” Chloe replied with a huge smile on her face.
Before the game, Chloe was asked to throw out the first pitch to Phillips, where she presented him with a signed softball and a lucky bracelet that said, “Rally for Chloe, our princess.”
During a post-game interview, Whitaker said, “Brett, you were not aware of it at the moment but you were part of a very magical moment for Chloe Grimes who you met before the game.” She added, “You hit a home run while she was doing a live interview talking about battling cancer, and she gave you her wristband before the game and you said ‘it will bring me good luck.'”
“Usually I’m not at a loss of words, but I had the chance to meet Chloe for the first time, and she’s battling cancer, and she brought me these gifts,” Phillips said choking back tears. “She wrote my name on a softball and Chloe, you’re an inspiration.”
In a tweet, Phillips later wrote, “Chloe, you’ve touched my heart and have impacted me! I feel so blessed that God gave me the opportunity to meet you! @BaseballisFun__ and @RaysCommunity will be teaming up to help with your medical bills and also a few extra gifts just as you did for me!”
The Rays went on to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in the 10th inning.
“I’m praying for you Chloe and your family,” Phillips said. “That homer was for you.”