A baseball player celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run
The Springfield Cardinals’ home run chain got passed around three times in the eighth inning Tuesday as Chandler Redmond, Nick Raposo and Mike Antico hit home runs in a come-from-behind 8-6 victory over the Arkansas Travelers. (Photo: PJ Maigi, Springfield Cardinals)

When it comes to memorable minor-league home runs, the legend of Chandler Redmond continues to grow much like Paul Bunyan after emerging from a forest previously full of tall trees.

Remond clubbed his Texas League-leading ninth home run of the season on Tuesday, as the Springfield Cardinals launched a homestand with an 8-6 victory over the Arkansas Travelers at Hammons Field. It was a rather pedestrian blast, at least by Redmond terms, just clearing the wall in right field.

A prodigious blast a couple of days earlier opened eyes and nearly registered on NORAD tracking.

Redmond hit a ball in the fourth inning on Sunday at Wichita’s Riverfront Stadium an estimated 485 feet. It sailed over the Wichita Baseball Museum beyond right field and hit an administrative building beyond stadium property.

In the major leagues in 2023, only the New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton has hit a ball that far this season. Salt Lake’s Trey Cabbage topped Redmond and Stanton by two feet, with a 487-footer in an April 18 game at Reno.

“It felt unbelievably awesome,” Redmond said on Tuesday. “It was one of the best balls I’ve ever hit.”

One of the best? Redmond is building a nice collection of long home runs to choose from. Of course, he made baseball news last summer for his “Home Run Cycle” on Aug. 10 at Amarillo, becoming the second player in pro history to hit four home runs in a game (one with the bases empty, another with one on, a third with two on and another with the bases full).

Redmond might not make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as a player, but his bat from the “Home Run Cycle” game is on display there. 

For the common person who can’t hit a baseball out of the infield, much less over the outfield fence, Redmond tried to describe what the 485-foot home run felt like.

“Whatever you find the most joy in, amplify that by 10,” Redmond said with joy. “That’s what it feels like.”

Redmond has always been a gifted power hitter since signing with the Cardinals as a 32nd-round draft choice in 2019 out of Gardner Webb. He hit 21 home runs last season, his first full campaign at Double-A, after hitting 12 in 2019 and 18 in 2021, splitting time with High-A Peoria and Springfield.

Offseason work has helped Redmond’s offense and defense

This year, he’s off and running after an offseason of following strict nutrition and workout regimens. He looks like a better overall hitter, with a .267 average after finishing at .235 a year ago. He also leads the Texas League with 25 RBIs in just 75 at-bats, with an OPS (slugging plus on-base average) of 1.008.

“He’s worked extremely hard on his mechanics, but not only that, he’s worked really hard with his body,” Springfield manager Jose Leger said. “He leaned up a lot and now he is stronger. He’s moving well. You can see it when he’s playing defense as well.

“His swing is in a good place and his confidence is really high.”

Mental confidence played a big role on Tuesday, as Redmond went hitless in his first three at-bats before his two-run home run in the eight drew the Cardinals within 5-4. Nick Raposo and Mike Antico also homered in the inning to send the Cardinals to their fourth straight victory.

Redmond homered for a fourth straight game and credited the process, along with determination, for sparking him and the team in Tuesday’s comeback.

“My dad always told me as a young kid that it’s never too late to have a great day,” Redmond said. “I started the day 0-for-3 and was like, ‘Wow, it’s a bad day,’ but after that, it’s a great day.”

Redmond said three different Arkansas pitchers fed him a bunch of off-speed pitches before he saw a fastball to his liking the fourth time up.

“I’ve just got to stay with it and I was fortunate enough to get two in a row” in the eighth inning, Redmond said. “I didn’t miss the second one.”

A baseball player gets ready to swing his bat
Chandler Redmond already has nine home runs one month into the Springfield Cardinals’ season after hitting 21 a year ago. (Photo: PJ Maigi, Springfield Cardinals)

That ‘most dangerous hitter on the field’ feeling

While not every home run is going to travel 485 feet, Redmond is confident that the power will keep flowing. Along with the offseason dedication — at the dinner table and in the weight room — he said a refined swing path is helping.

“For the first time in my career, I’m really back-spinning balls to right field consistently instead of topping them,” Redmond said. “I think that’s why the home runs are starting to come. I’m lifting the ball instead of yanking off it and having that topspin.

“I feel much smoother in my (swing) load and I’m attacking the ball a lot better instead of staying back, and I’m holding my direction better,” he added. “It’s learning from your past mistakes, your past games, but also knowing that and working on it in the cage.

“I just feel a lot more dangerous. I joke with Raposo that I feel like I’m in college again, my senior year, where I was the most dangerous hitter on the field and I feel that way again.”

Just like going from a college senior to the pros, Redmond could have another promotion coming if he keeps producing. At 26, this is a pivotal year for him to perhaps move up the organizational ladder, to Triple-A Memphis — or even get a shot in St. Louis. But with enough to worry about on the field, maintaining and refining his powerful swing and honing his defensive skills at multiple positions, he’s not thinking about changing addresses.

“You’ve got to focus on the here and now,” Redmond said. “There are so many things that are out of my control that if I let that bother me, then it’s going to be a downward spiral from there.”

Springfield Cardinals homestand

Tuesday — Springfield 8, Arkansas 6

Wednesday — Arkansas 7, Springfield 5

Thursday — 6:35 p.m. vs. Arkansas Travelers

Friday — 6:35 p.m. vs. Arkansas Travelers

Saturday — 6:05 p..m. vs. Arkansas Travelers

Sunday — 1:35 p.m. vs. Arkansas Travelers

Ticket info — SpringfieldCardinals.com, or go to the Hammons Field box office

Lyndal Scranton

Lyndal Scranton is a Springfield native who has covered sports in the Ozarks for more than 35 years, witnessing nearly every big sports moment in the region during the last 50 years. The Springfield Area Sports Hall of Famer and live-fire cooking enthusiast also serves as PR Director for Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and is co-host of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast. Contact him at Lscranton755@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @LyndalScranton. More by Lyndal Scranton