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“That Homer Was For You.” Baseball Pro Dedicates Hit To Young Fan Battling Cancer.

There’s no denying the incredible impact that athletes can make on a young person’s life. Or, in the case of MLB player Brett Phillips, the impact one special fan can have on an athlete.

Brett is a center fielder with the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s as well known for his jubilant, cheerful personality and signature “airplane” move as he is for his skills on the field, making him a perennial fan favorite. At a recent game, Brett got the chance to meet one of his biggest fans, 8-year-old Chloe Grimes of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Chloe was attending the game with her softball team and her mother, all of whom have rallied around their “princess warrior” as she fights cancer for the second time in her young life. She first fought cancer at age 2, and recently relapsed.

“This girl has been unbelievably tough,” her mother explained. “She went through 20 rounds of radiation daily and 36 rounds of chemo the first time around. We were absolutely devastated a few weeks ago to find out that she relapsed, but she’s been so brave, and she’s ready to take on the fight.”

Chloe got the chance to meet Brett before the game. She gave him a few gifts she’d made herself, including a green bracelet with “Rally for Chloe, our princess warrior” printed on it. Brett graciously accepted the gift, slipping it onto his wrist and wearing it for the entire game. He told the little girl the wristlet would bring him luck – and it did!

After Chloe threw out the first pitch, Brett caught it and jumped up and down in excitement. The whole crowd roared their approval.

Later, in the third inning, Chloe and her mother were giving an interview with a journalist when Brett hit a homerun straight into the stadium’s rafters!

After the game, Brett got choked up when asked about hitting a homerun for Chloe.

“I think that’s the hardest ball, the farthest ball I’ve hit in my career,” he said, fighting back his emotions as tears filled his eyes. “And I’m praying for you guys, and you know, it’s just unbelievable what they’re going through. I hope I can meet Chloe again in the future.”

“Again, what an inspiration,” he added. “I’m praying for you, Chloe, and your family, and you’re really cool, and that homer was for you.”

Later that night, Chloe must have still been on the player’s mind. He tweeted a link to her GoFundMe and pledged support for her family’s financial hardship on behalf of his group, Baseball is Fun, as well as the Rays Charities.

In one last show of love for their toughest little fan, the baseball Brett hit into the catwalk was retrieved. He plans to sign it and give it to to her.

Way to fly high, Brett! This sort of attention means so much to the people who support professional sports. It’s wonderful to see the these athletes show their humanity and generosity to the people who make their living possible.

Share this story to wish Chloe luck as she fights cancer once more.

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