Phillips hits shot heard around Demopolis
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 16, 2004
PAWTUCKET, RI – It may not have been the shot heard around the world, but Andy Phillips two-out tenth inning walk-off home run in Wednesday night’s Dodge Triple-A All-Star game was clearly heard in Demopolis.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the tenth, and a dissatisfied crowd of 11, 192 preparing to head out of McCoy Stadium, Phillips tattooed a Scott Atchison (Tacoma/Seattle) 1-0 slider 400 feet over the left-center wall for his first walk-off homer to give the International League a 4-3 victory over the Pacific Coast League.
“It was a slider, and it did slide,” Phillips said. “But fortunately for me, it slid to the wrong part of the plate, just where I like it. I couldn’t ask for a better pitch to hit.”
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Phillips, who was the obvious choice for the Dodge Most Valuable Player Wednesday night, said that he, like many other ball players, had seen that kind of situation played out in his mind a dozen times, but never thought that he would actually ever turn that childhood dream into a reality.
“It was obviously one of those situation that all players have played out in their minds as kids,” Phillips said. “But to have it become a reality, especially in a game of that caliber, is just an indescribable feeling. It was different than what I had imagined, better and more emotional, but different.”
It was a night to remember to say the least. Wednesday night’s game was the first in its history to have gone into extra innings, and obviously one of its most dramatic. Phillips’ dinger not only won the game and him the MVP, but it did something even more amazing.
It sent Sox fans to their feet for a Yankee.
Phillips, an infielder with the Columbus Clippers – the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees – sent his dinger out of McCoy Stadium – home of the Pawtucket Red Sox
(Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) – bringing thousands of Sox fans to their feet.
But for Phillips the only fans that truly matter are the ones back home in Demopolis, for that’s where he’s from and that’s who he is proud to represent.
“I must have got 20 or more phone calls in the past 24 hours from family and friends from back home in Demopolis telling me how proud they were of me,” Phillips said. “There support has always been a blessing to me, in good times and in bad. And I was just happy to do something that everyone back home can enjoy and take pride in.”
Phillips says that his moment in the sun Wednesday night is the highlight of his professional career thus far. Its been a long, hard road from Demopolis Academy to Columbus, but Phillips believes as long as he continues to do great things, then great things will happen to him.