Redmond visits HR cycle bat in Cooperstown
Not even an hour after achieving one of the rarest feats in the history of baseball for Double-A Springfield, Chandler Redmond got some news that almost rivaled the accomplishment. The Hall of Fame wanted his bat. “Right after the game, a couple reporters had talked to our broadcaster [Andrew Buchbinder]
Not even an hour after achieving one of the rarest feats in the history of baseball for Double-A Springfield,
The Hall of Fame wanted his bat.
“Right after the game, a couple reporters had talked to our broadcaster [Andrew Buchbinder] about getting in touch for interviews, so he set that up,” Redmond said. “And then 30 minutes later, he texted me and said, ‘Hey, the Hall of Fame wants your bat. Are you willing to donate it?’ And I was like … [laughs] yeah, of course!
“It’s just such an honor. It’s such a great thing to have happen. You always dream about being in Cooperstown, so that was just super special.”
The Cardinals infield prospect etched his name into baseball lore on Aug. 11, 2022 by becoming the second person on record to hit for the home run cycle -- a solo homer, a two-run homer, three-run homer and a grand slam -- in the same game.
On Jan. 13, the 26-year-old took a trip to Cooperstown to see the bat he used that day on display. With friends and family beside him, the excitement Redmond felt was almost as strong as it had been back in August.
On Aug. 11, 2022, @Cardinals prospect Chandler Redmond hit for the home run cycle. Today, he visited Cooperstown to see the bat he used that day, which is on exhibit in the Museum.— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) January 13, 2023
📷 Milo Stewart Jr. pic.twitter.com/Qboekc4SyY
“The Hall of Fame, man, they treated us like royalty,” Redmond said. “I can’t imagine them treating us any better. They were so great, so kind.”
When Redmond and his party arrived, the Hall gave them a tour, first to see his bat, and then to see all the items that aren't on display. For the lefty slugger, it was “crazy” to walk by the boxes of Babe Ruth memorabilia, knowing his own accomplishment had a place in the same vicinity as those done by the Great Bambino.
And then they got to Tyrone Horne’s bat, which Redmond got to hold -- with latex gloves on, of course.
Horne was the only other person to achieve the home run cycle, back in 1998. The similarities between the two games are almost eerie -- both did it for a Cardinals' Double-A team (Horne for the former affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers), and both hit three of their four long balls to left field.
Some time after Redmond’s unique cycle, he got in touch with Horne, who made a point of emphasizing that the two of them were part of “the most exclusive club in baseball.”
“I started thinking about that and I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right,’” Redmond said. “Throwing a perfect game is so rare, but more than two people have done it. It’s so crazy.”
The offseason trip to upstate New York proved particularly enjoyable for Redmond, since he could finally fully take in his achievement -- something he didn’t have time to do during the season while preparing for a new game every night.
"I was so down the week before [the home run cycle]. I went 0-for-15," he recalled. "For me to come back the next game I played after a terrible week and to do something you can't even dream of ... it's only been done one time, and some people don't even know it exists. To do something like that was incredible."
Baseball is full of ups and downs; the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. No matter what happens in 2023 and beyond, Redmond has been immortalized alongside many of the sport's all-time greats.
“The most crazy and humbling thing about it all is that I’m now always a part of baseball history," Redmond said. "That’s something that you dream of as a kid, is making your mark on the game and etching yourself into history. I get to say that if my career ended tomorrow, I get to say that I’ve done that, and that’s really special.”
Stephanie Sheehan is an contributor for MiLB.com.