For Mike Redmond, it is superstars like Stan Musial, whom he met early in his career as a Marlins catcher, and Harmon Killebrew, whose presence loomed over the Twins during Redmond's five years in Minnesota, who have left indelible impressions.
"To see how humble they were," Redmond said. "These are two of the greatest players of all-time and they didn't have to remind you how many batting titles they won."
I spoke to Redmond, the Marlins new manager, Sunday for a reaction to the passing of Musial, the Cardinals great who spent time at the Roger Dean Stadium complex during in the late 1990s and early 2000s before failing health prevented him from making the spring training trip from his home outside of St. Louis. Redmond took time from a skiing outing in Idaho, about 45 minutes from his home in Washington, to take my call before getting back to me after his final run.
"If you think about the St. Louis Cardinals you think about Stan Musial and all the things he accomplished," Redmond said.
Musial once made his way into the Marlins clubhouse, signing autographs and talking baseball. Redmond, who was born in 1971, eight years after Stan the Man played in his final game, keeps the signed ball displayed in his home office.
"I remember him being very gracious to a group of kids on the Marlins," Redmond said. "He signed balls and talked to us about hitting.
"Meeting him and talking with him. As a young kid coming up, early on the big leagues, anytime you get a chance to meet Stan Musial that's pretty neat."
Redmond played for three organizations during his 13-year career and has been a coach or manager since retiring in 2010. When I asked him to the list the greatest players he ever met, he didn't hesitate in naming Musial and Killebrew.
They share something other than their Hall of Fame talents (37 combined All-Star games and four combined MVP awards) that is rarely seen in the game today: loyalty.
Musial spent his entire 22-year career in St. Louis; and with the exception of playing 106 games for the Royals in 1975 Killebrew's 22 years were with the same organization, starting as the Washington Senators and moving with the team to Minnesota.
"To play for one team for 22 years is pretty incredible," Redmond said.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond will not forget meeting Stan Musial
Palm Beach Post | Jan 21