With surgery beat, Phillips wants shot at ‘The Show’

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

He’s survived a two-year tour of duty in the bus leagues, a frustrating move from AA ball back to single A ball and recently he has overcome a physically painful and career freightening surgery to his elbow. But he’s still happy to be playing baseball and he is confident that his day will come.

Demopolis native Andy Phillips is currently happy, healthy and still getting paid to go to the ballpark, but it wasn’t long ago that his bright future looked a bit dark and stormy.

Phillips has spent the better part of a year and a half playing second base for the AAA Columbus Clippers, a New York Yankee minor league affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. And up until last season, as far as baseball was concerned, things were continuing to move forward for the 26-year old.

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But just as it seemed that Phillips’ dreams were coming into focus, he was hit with a pain in his elbow that kept him from finishing the season along with thoughts of an ending career.

According to Phillips, the injury was brought on by wear and tear to the bone, which had caused bone to bang against bone every time he moved the arm. It was an injury that would require surgery to repair and surgery is always a scary word for any athlete.

But Phillips knows that it was also a relief to have one of the best surgeons in the country doing the operating. It’s like having a big and warm security blanket on a frigid night when you know that you’re getting the best advice and some of the best care available.

The surgery was a successful one, and though rehab was hard work for Phillips, it was just another obstacle on the road to the major leagues. But Phillips, being the devout Christian that he is, knows that all of these little obstacles are merely test. And that if it was easy then everyone would become a professional baseball player.

Phillips will return this February to Tampa, Fla., for another exciting spring training with the Yankees that will have him playing along side some of the best and most famous players in the game. It’s an exciting time and Phillips can’t wait to get back at it.