Phillips’ dream is now a reality in New York

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Andy Phillips’ dream to play professional baseball is now a reality.

And last night in Minnesota, he got his first chance to prove he belongs there as he stepped onto the field in a New York Yankess uniform.

“It’s a dream come true.

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I’ve been playing baseball all my life,” Phillips said.

“It’s something you dream about and to finally reach it is an unbelievable feeling.

It’s something I have been doing for a long time and the more I played it and continued to have success at it, it’s just the way I ended up.””

As far as a role model for Phillips, just go back to America’s pastime – the game of baseball.

“Growing up, my favorite player was Ryan Sandburg on the Chicago Cubs,” Phillips said.

“I love the way he played the game.

He was just a complete player.”

Things are not always easy when making the transition from college baseball to the minors, and then on to the pros.

“My biggest challenge has been playing consistently for 144 games,” Phillips said.

“Every year, I try to get more and more consistent.

On the big league level, that’s what separates the pros is that they are consistent on a daily basis.”

As a member of the Crimson Tide baseball team, Phillips has many fond memories.

“My favorite memory from my time at the University of Alabama has to be three college world series – without a doubt,” Phillips said.

“Being able to go experience that in Omaha was the highlight of my career.”

When Phillips entered the Triple-A All-Star game last month, it was a dream.

But he had no idea what was truly coming his way when he stepped up to the plate in the 10th inning.

“My favorite minor league memory would have to be the walk off home-run in the all star game this year,” Phillips said.

Phillips received the phone call about being called-up to the Yankees on Sunday afternoon.

“When I received the word of being called-up to the pros, we were shopping of all places, my wife and my parents were there,” Phillips said.

“I got the call and had to leave on a flight to Seattle at 6:00.”

As a hometown hero in Demopolis, Phillips enjoyed his times playing sports and growing up in Alabama.

“Growing up in Demopolis was a great opportunity for me because it’s a great baseball town and a great sports town,” Phillips said.

“To be able to grow up and play sports and to pursue what you love doing was a blessing for me.”

For those entering the minors with the dream of reaching the pros, Phillips has a few words of advice.

“If I could say one thing to a kid being drafted into baseball, I would say to be patient, just try not to think about anything else except how to play the game,” Phillips said.

“Just play the game and play it hard.

Just be patient.”