CLOVER HILL (WHSV) -- Bill Phipps has been the public address announcer at Clover Hill baseball games for about the last decade and a half. But the Bucks' voice was missing for the last month as Phipps dealt with a brain tumor.
On Friday night, the veteran returned to the small shed above the wooden seats at the Clover Dome.
"I'm overwhelmingly thrilled to be back. I can't wait for tonight. Anytime I miss a Clover Hill game,I miss it as much as I miss anything,” Phipps said.
For Phipps, the room that overlooks the field at Buck Bowman park is his second home.
"Never once have I felt like an outsider here,” Phipps said. :That's why it's so great, it's community, it's family. The first time I was in this box, I've been family ever since."
But a month into this season, the voice of the Bucks felt different.
"I had loss of feeling in my left index finger and left thumb. That was the first symptom,” Phipps said.
“Thursday night I went into the emergency room. I called my daughter. First thing she said was, 'What's wrong with you?' I said, 'What do you mean what's wrong with me?' She said, 'Well you're slurring your words.'”
Doctors told Phipps he had a brain tumor on June 12. He had surgery 12 days later.
“They cut 80 plus percent of it out. Didn't affect my motor skills at all. I was conversing lucidly when I woke up from anesthesia. I've had no side effects, I've had no pain," Phipps said.
Instead, Phipps gained perspective, realizing the support he's had from the community while he was away from the microphone.
"The outpouring of love and support has just been unbelievable,” Phipps said. “It's the fact that people take time to do that that is so amazing to me."
As he returns, Phipps just has one goal as his voice returns to the loudspeakers.
"I don't want to screw it up,” Phipps said. “Come up, do my job and enjoy the ballgame."
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