If Brandon Phillips weren’t busy becoming the best second baseman in Cincinnati since the days of Joe Morgan, I’m convinced he’d be a card-carrying member of the Professional Bowlers Association.  I’ve bowled with Brandon several times, and if you think he makes turning a double play look easy, you should see him pick up a 4-6 split.  He’s amazing on the lanes and very, very good.  He proved it once again today at Cherry Grove Lanes in Anderson. 
Phillips was on-hand to honor a commitment he made to Jeff Higgins for being the high bidder earlier this season at the National City PNC Celebri-Duck Auction.  Proceeds from the auction benefitted the Freestore Foodbank and the winning bidder of this specific “duck” got a chance to throw out a first pitch at a Reds game and participate, free of charge, in the annual celebrity poker tournament at this year’s Redsfest.  But that’s not all.  To sweeten the deal Brandon Phillips volunteered to take the winning bidder and his/her family bowling.  For Higgins, it was an opportunity he was not going to let pass him by.  And for Brandon, it was just a chance to make some folks happy by hanging out in one of his favorite places – the bowling alley.
Decked out in “Phillips 4” Reds t-shirts, Jeff, his wife Shelly along with their children and some of their kids’ friends were all smiles as the Reds’ Gold Glove second baseman playfully took over the bowling center.  Brandon has a way of making people feel comfortable and loose and today was no exception.  It’s pretty easy to see why he’s so popular with the fans.  After the bowling was over and I said my good-byes to the Higgins’ flock, Brandon was still in the parking lot chatting them up as I drove home.

bphillipscherrygrovelanesgroupfront.jpgBrandon and his fans outside Cherry Grove Lanes in Anderson.

bphillipscherrygrovelanesbrandonandjeffhiggins.jpgBrandon and Jeff Higgins

bphillipscherrygrovelanes 046.jpg What form!


bphillipscherrygrovelanessigningautos.jpg Brandon signing autographs at the bowling center

bphillipscherrygrovelaneswithfamily.jpg Brandon and a family of Reds fans

bphillipscherrygrovelanesvisor.jpgBrandon mocks me by wearing my “grandma poker visor.”  (Notice Reds Events Coordinator/Reds Heads Kids Club Guru Corey Hawthorne in the background pretending to talk to someone on the phone)


bphillipscherrygrovelanessigning cast.jpgBrandon signs 10 year-old Nick Huber’s cast.  Nick is a Merwin Elementary School student, who recently broke his thumb while wrestling a giraffe to the ground in the African grasslands.

bphillipscherrygrovelanesgroupback.jpg They got his back


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