ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays season is already off to a sweet start as Rays outfielder Brett Phillips shared a special moment with an 8-year-old girl battling cancer for the second time.
Chloe Grimes delivered the opening pitch in Tuesday night's win against the A's. She also handed Phillips, her favorite player, a bracelet that read "Rally for Chloe our Princess Warrior."
That was only the beginning of what became a heartwarming experience for every fan at Tropicana Field. During the third inning, Phillips launched a solo homer while Chloe was interviewing with sideline reporter Tricia Whitaker on the Bally Sports Sun broadcast.
"Chloe, do you know what just happened?" Whitaker asked. With little to say, all the 8-year-old could do was smile through her excitement.
Following the Rays' win, Phillips interviewed with Whitaker who asked him about that special home run.
"Usually I'm not loss at words, but I had the chance to meet Chloe for the first time and she brought me these gifts," Phillips said. "She wrote my name on a softball. Chloe, you're an inspiration."
Phillips said seeing Chloe shine through her cancer diagnosis brought perspective to his career and how he navigates through life treating everyone with love and respect.
"I'm praying or you and your family, Chloe. You're really cool and that homer was for you," Phillips said.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support Chloe and her family throughout her journey.