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franklin county times

West retires Phillips', Brown's numbers

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Nov. 13, 2004
Paul Phillips and Jamie Brown are far from being the only two baseball All-Stars or state champions at West Lauderdale, but the two joined an exclusive fraternity on Friday when their jersey numbers were retired at halftime of the West Lauderdale-Greene County football game.
Phillips and Brown are now two of just five Knights to have their numbers retired. Former West Lauderdale standouts Jody Hurst, Jay Powell and Jeremy Jackson have also received the honor.
Along with Powell, Phillips and Brown helped constitute the three West Lauderdale products to play in the major leagues in 2004. Brown made his big league debut for the Boston Red Sox on May 12.
Phillips also cracked into the majors for the first time in 2004 after being called up by the Kansas City Royals in September. Phillips got a hit in his first MLB at-bat on Sept. 9 against the Detroit Tigers.
That experience at baseball's highest level is what separates the West Lauderdale players who have their numbers inducted, according to Boatner.
Coincidental, Phillips and Brown agreed, since Boatner taught them many of the same things they learned from college and pro coaches after playing for the Knights.
High expectations at West Lauderdale, Phillips and Brown said, helped propel both of them to success at baseball's highest levels.
Signs with Phillips' and Browns' names and numbers were unveiled at the football game, and they will be moved to Jerry Boatner Field. Plaques honoring the two players will also be displayed in the school's trophy case at the gym.

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