Thanks to the Marlins, members of the Red Sox feasted on Joe's Stone Crabs inside the Boston clubhouse when the team paid tribute to Mike Lowell on Saturday. The Marlins sent the crabs to Fenway Park, where they were hand-delivered to Lowell by another former Marlin, Mike Redmond.
"I gave them to him on the field," said Redmond, whom the Red Sox invited to the tribute, knowing that the long-time backup catcher was one of Lowell's closest friends from their Marlins days together. "I was excited to be there with Mikey."
Like Lowell, Redmond also retired this season, but not with any of the fanfare. Redmond was released by the Indians in July and quietly returned home to Spokane after 13 seasons in the majors, the first seven with the Marlins. Redmond was signed by the Marlins as an amateur free agent out of Gonzaga in 1992, spent the next six years working his way up the ladder in the minors, and made his major league debut in 1998, the year the Marlins lost 108. Lowell was called up the following season.
"We talked about (the Marlins) a lot this weekend," Redmond said. "We talked about coming up together, and we talked about his waiting his turn with Kevin Orie playing in front of him, and just all the trials and tribulations of the first couple of years in the big leagues before we got good and finally won that World Series (in 2003)."
They were Marlins teammates for one more season, 2004, before Redmond left to sign with the Twins. Lowell and Josh Beckett were traded to the Red Sox one year later and collected another Series title with Boston in 2007. But Redmond and Lowell remained tight and hooked up every now and then during the offseason even though they lived in opposite corners of the country, with Lowell making Miami his permanent home.
Now, the two players who broke in as Marlins around the same time are also going out together.
"I appreciate the Marlins so much," Redmond said. "They were the organization that gave me the opportunity to get to the big leagues, and I'll always be grateful for that opportunity. Obviously, the highlight of my career, without a doubt, was winning the World Series. That ring, everytime I look at it, brings nothing but smiles for that season."
Redmond said he enjoys being home with his family, spending time with his wife and children. But baseball tugs at his heart still. He said he would like to become a coach or manager, maybe even work in a front office.
"That's part of the reason why I announced my retirement, because I didn't want to go into the offseason with people thinking I was still playing," Redmond said. "I decided before the season even started that this would be my last year."
Redmond said he and Lowell even talked about coaching on the same team one day, perhaps even with the Marlins, where it all started.
"That's what we talked about, saying 'Wouldn't that be cool if we were able to put on those Marlins jerseys again and help the young players?,'" Redmond said. "Yeah, that would be pretty cool."