On Saturday, Votto and Phillips, staples of the right side of the Reds' infield for nearly a decade, celebrated a unique milestone by playing in their 1,000th game together. Phillips also celebrated a personal milestone by appearing in his 1,500th game as a Red.
Phillips showed up in 2006, while Votto joined the squad in 2007.
"He's one of the best players in this game," Phillips told Zach Buchanan of Cincinnati.com about his first baseman and friend. "It's been an honor playing next to him. We have a great friendship. Just playing next to the MVP himself, it's fun."
The milestone, a rare feat in the age of free agency, almost didn't happen, as the rebuilding Reds were shopping Phillips over the winter. Phillips refused to waive his no-trade clause, though, which pleased Votto, who said he "couldn't have imagined Brandon Phillips in another uniform."
NOTABLE TEAMMATES WITH 1,000+ GAMES TOGETHER
|Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio||Astros||2,020|
|Ron Santo and Billy Williams||Cubs||2,012|
|Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker||Tigers||1,874|
|Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski||Pirates||1,854|
|Willie Mays and Willie McCovey||Giants||1,466|
|Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips||Reds||1,000"|
The teammates celebrated their milestone one night early by debuting a brand new flashy home-run celebration on Friday that was inspired by Bryce Harper's creed.
"Bryce asked us," Votto said of the celebration's genesis. "It's not what the game can do for you, it's what you can do for the game. We're out here trying to make baseball fun again."
Votto and Phillips have led the Reds to three playoff appearances in their years as Reds, but the team's never been able to get past the division series. Playoffs won't be coming back to Cincinnati any time soon, but they're still having fun anyway.
"It's been a great marriage together," Votto said. "We've had a really nice run so far."