Contrary to legend, the most popular guy on this leg of the Cincinnati Reds winter caravan isn't broadcaster Franchester "Marty" Brennaman, team owner Bob Castellini (the man paying Joey Votto), or even the mustachioed Mr. Redlegs. Instead, the big attraction is slugger Brandon Phillips.
With 2,000 fans packing the Modern Flight Gallery at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday after they had lined up four hours in the cold before the event started, things were bound to get a little nutty. Especially, apparently, for Phillips. Some fans cry for him. Some lose consciousness. Others ask for his hand marriage.
It's all in a day's work, Phillips said in the Dayton Daily News:
A question-and-answer session preceded an autograph session. It was just a few minutes into the Q&A; that Phillips received his proposal.
“Will you please marry my daughter,” Caravan emcee Brennaman read from a submitted question.
Like the three-time Gold Glove winner he is, Phillips fielded it flawlessly.
“Where she at? What up, girl?” Phillips said, scanning the crowd for the daughter and flashing that winning smile. “It just depends on what she brings to the table.”
“Are you done?” Brennaman deadpanned.
Phillips shouldn’t have been surprised by the offer, if he was, especially after visits to other stops.
“It was crazy. There were some girls crying and one person fainted on me,” Phillips said, clarifying that it wasn’t an attempt to fall on top of him. “They didn’t fall on me. They fell on the floor.”
As Hardball Talk pointed out, this must have been what the Beatles endured when they toured 50 years ago. Or even with that Leif Garrett during the disco times. If he ever gets bored of pretending to be Ringo, Phillips should go on a St. Louis Cardinals caravan, just to mess with the fans. He'd get all sorts of proposals in the middle of Missouri. They really love him there!