Last season, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips won his second Gold Glove award, received his first All Star selection and led the Reds to the Playoffs for the first time since 1995.
After years of hard work and persistence, Brandon’s love of baseball is paying dividends. In 1999, Brandon signed with the Montreal Expos straight out of high school. After playing some minor league ball, Brandon was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2002.
He won the starting second baseman job with the Indians in 2003 but, after some ups and downs, was dealt to the Reds in April of 2006. Going back to when he was a kid, Brandon speaks highly of his idol, former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin: “The only reason I really started playing baseball is because of Barry Larkin. If it wasn’t for him, I probably would be playing football right now.” For Phillips to look up to Larkin (the 1995 NL MVP) and then to have the opportunity to play for the Reds was huge.
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