LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – People often say that you should never meet your heroes, because they’ll never live up to your expectations.
However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes they exceed them.
Watching 8-year-old Chloe Grimes talking smack, hitting liners and throwing heat, you’d never guess she has been fighting cancer, off and on, since the age of 2.
The girl has grit which is why the Tampa Bay Rays recently invited Chloe to toss out the first pitch. She threw it to a player named Brett Phillips who now believes this moment wasn’t so much ceremonial as it was serendipitous.
“What a story, right? You can’t not think there was some divine intervention,” set Brett.
Brett Phillips, number 35, is Chloe’s favorite player. Even though he’s not exactly an all-star.
However, he comes out 20 minutes before every game to talk with the kids.
He’ll make time for people even in the middle of a play!
“You know, I had a 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,” said Brett.
Among those gifts was a bracelet.
“It’s going to bring me good luck,” said Brett.
And sure enough, that night, he hit not just a home run, but “the hardest ball I hit in my major league career,” said Brett.
If not for the roof, it might have left the building.
Needless to say, Brett won’t be taking off that bracelet anytime soon. Although Chloe insists that she got the better gift.
“He gave me spirit to beat the butt out of cancer,” said Chloe.
And to Brett Phillips, her smile is what baseball is all about.
“I’ve been blessed with a platform to spread joy and love on a daily basis,” he said.
This week, Brett surprised Chloe at her house, cementing their friendship and earning himself the greatest title in professional sports: most valuable presence in a child’s life.