Ever heard of the 'home run cycle'? This Minor Leaguer pulled it off!

August 11th, 2022

On an 88-degree night in Amarillo, Texas, in front of 5,134 at HODGETOWN Stadium, Chandler Redmond mashed his way into baseball lore.

The Cardinals infield prospect barreled up a solo, two-run, three-run and grand slam homer to complete the rarest milestone in baseball history -- the "home run cycle."

"It's unbelievable," Redmond said. "I don't even know what words to use to describe the feelings right now."

Only one other time has this feat been accomplished in the modern era of the game -- by Tyrone Horne on July 27, 1998, for the then-Cardinals affiliate Double-A Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. It's never been done in the Major Leagues.

What makes Redmond's performance even more remarkable is that it occurred in a game that became drenched with history as Double-A Springfield posted 21 runs on 21 hits and clubbed eight home runs en route to a 21-4 drubbing of Amarillo. The Cardinals' eight dingers and 21 runs set single-game franchise records. Redmond's four jacks and 11 RBIs -- as part of a career-high five-hit effort -- also set the new single-game highwater mark for the club.

"So after I hit the grand slam, I had a little thought creep into my mind about maybe the cycle. But then I brushed it off real quick. I was like, 'Come on, this was only my second time with a multihomer game in pro ball,'" Redmond said. "But then I go up there and hit the solo shot and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I can do it.' So then walking up for that last at-bat and seeing two guys on, I'm thinking, 'Oh my gosh, everything is lining up, you can do this. So just stay calm and stay within yourself, but if you get a chance to get a ball to hammer, you better not miss it.'"

The 32nd-round selection from the 2019 Draft did not miss.

With runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth, Redmond stepped in against Sod Poodles reliever Austin Pope for the first time in the game. The right-hander's first offering was a fastball up in the zone that was taken for strike one. After missing up and away with the next pitch, Pope unloaded another heater. But this time it caught too much of the heart of the plate, and Redmond unloaded, sending it beyond the wall in right-center field to cap the Cardinals' historic night.

"For me, the whole night, I just went up there trying to see something up in the zone," Redmond said. "I stayed away from anything low that I could ultimately drive into the ground. My focus was to get something up that I could get underneath and lift it, and potentially hit it out."

After slapping an RBI single to right with two outs in the first inning on the first pitch of the game he saw from right-hander Slade Cecconi, Redmond was bested by the ninth-ranked D-backs prospect two innings later -- striking out swinging on the fourth pitch of the at-bat. But, the Gardner-Webb product would not be retired for the rest of the game.

The lefty-swinging slugger crushed a 2-2 offering from Brent Teller to left for a two-run blast in the fifth. In the following frame, Redmond turned on a 3-1 heater from Josh Green with the bases loaded and sent it soaring well beyond the wall in left-center for a grand slam.

With two outs in the seventh, the 25-year-old belted the first pitch he saw from Justin Lewis to straightaway center for a solo blast. It was the third dinger in a four-tater frame for Springfield.

"Hitting is so contagious," Redmond said. "Tonight, everyone was just so loose in the dugout -- having fun, playing the game, no pressure. You just go up there and trust your preparation and play a little more loose and let your natural abilities take over. I think that's what we did tonight, and I think we're just a really good hitting ballclub and it showed."

When Redmond's deep fly in the eighth inning cleared the fences, it was his fourth homer in four straight plate appearances, each coming off a different pitcher.

And after sharing the moment with his teammates and coaches, the Middletown, Md., native got a call from his biggest fan -- his dad.

"It's just mind-blowing to think that I'm just the second guy to ever [hit for the home run cycle]. I actually just talked about it with my dad," he said. "He's just so proud of me and he gets so much joy out of watching me play. He's watched every single college game and pro game, and I know it's what he looks forward to most at night. So to be able to put on a show like this for him is pretty special."