For former big leaguers, HOF Classic connects fathers and children
For Redding and countless others, it’s the power of Cooperstown at work: Connecting families on and around Father’s Day.
Baseball has taken Redding all over the world – from Houston to San Diego to Aguascalientes, Mexico. But while the life of a ballplayer is exciting, it generally allows limited family time. Now based out of Auburn, N.Y. most of the year, for Redding this year’s Hall of Fame Classic held a deeper meaning.
We need your help to preserve priceless treasures housed here in Cooperstown. Make a gift today to help ensure that fans around the world can have online access to the Museum collections and Library archive.
As the keepers of the Game’s history, the Hall of Fame helps you relive your memories and celebrate baseball history.
“It was an unbelievable experience all around,” he said. “To be able to have my kids there from Michigan – they don’t get to see me a lot when I’m coaching. I played for 17 years, so for both of my kids, dad’s been home for four months during the winter time. And then February through September I’m out of the house. They come to see me when they can, during spring breaks and summer vacation. It’s been pretty much the norm.”
Redding’s son Brennan even filled in for his father when his flight was delayed, serving as a coach in Friday’s Classic Clinic.
“I originally volunteered for part of the clinic and then with the weather and the travel stuff I wasn’t there for the beginning,” Redding said. “He was going to participate in the clinic and ended up covering for me. He knows the game of baseball.”
On the other side of the field, Aaron Rowand also shared many a father-son moment in Cooperstown. Rowand, who participated in his fourth Hall of Fame Classic this year, took home both the MVP Award and the Home Run Derby title. But the former major league center fielder still insists that his favorite Classic memory – and one of the highlights of his career – came two years earlier.
“I’ll be honest, it’s been one of single best moments that I’ve had in baseball, being able to share the Hall of Fame Classic with my son (McKay),” Rowand said. “In 2015, I came around third base and I wasn’t even thinking about anything other than rounding third and heading home, when I saw my son (a bat boy) waiting for me there with Jacque Jones and Travis Fryman. It ranks up there with anything else. My son remembers me playing, he remembers being in the clubhouse, but now that he’s gotten older he understands me more and is able to experience baseball with me. Sharing Cooperstown with my son – it’s something that you can’t really duplicate.”