Earlier today, Miami signed Mike Redmond to a 3-year contract to manage the club, with the journeyman catcher succeeding the recently terminated Ozzie Guillen. Though Redmond’s slim managerial resume includes stints with Toronto’s Single A affiliates in Lansing and Dunedin, he was considered (by some) to be an inspirational figure for the ’03 World Champion Marlins, as this 2005 CSTB item (culled from The Grand Forks Herald) explains.
After a team meeting, in a somber, sleepy clubhouse the morning of an early afternoon game, Redmond headed for the indoor batting cages with his bat, wearing nothing but turf shoes, socks and batting gloves.
Twins infielder Andy Fox, a Marlins teammate then, looked up in disbelief as Redmond headed for the clubhouse door that opened into the cages.
“Are you serious?” Fox asked.
And the door shut behind him.
Redmond proceeded to hit soft tosses against a screen as teammates took notice, one by one, until laughter could be heard from one end of the clubhouse to the other.
“No one could really hit after that,” Fox said.
Until the game. The Marlins scored early and beat the Reds 6-2, with Redmond collecting two hits.
“And the next thing I knew, I was doing it seven or eight straight days,” Redmond said.
“That’s a long time to be hitting naked,” Fox said.
But the Marlins kept winning, so Redmond kept the clothes off his body and his eye on the ball. They won six in a row. Then during another cold streak in August, he did it again in Pittsburgh, and the Marlins went 20-8 the rest of the season to clinch the National League wild-card playoff spot.
And the rest is World Series, New York Yankees-beating history.