Brandon Phillips thanks Cincinnati fans for 'unconditional love'

Playing for the Atlanta Braves might be a dream come true for newly traded second baseman Brandon Phillips, but he gave one last salute to his Queen City fans Friday night on Instagram.

In a hashtag-happy post, Phillips thanked the Cincinnati Reds players, coaches and fan community for supporting him through his 11-season tenure on the team.

"You have had my back through the blood, sweat and tears and showed my family and I nothing but unconditional love from the beginning to the end," Phillips wrote. "For that, I’m grateful and was proud to wear that ‘C’ on my chest!"

The bittersweet nature of the trade goes both ways, and plenty of Cincinnatians will miss Phillips -- chief among them fellow Red Billy Hamilton.

"Brandon was like a big brother to me,” Hamilton said Monday. "You hate to see those guys go."

But he’ll be going with a smile and with the knowledge that Cincinnati helped him start an exciting new chapter in his career.

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