A's outfielder Josh Reddick's father, Kenny, taught him a lot about baseball but even more about perseverance and determination.
Reddick was less than a year old when his dad, who worked for the Savannah Power Co., had 7,600 volts of electricity shoot through his left hand, his heart and then down his right arm in an on-the-job accident. After nearly dying, Kenny Reddick lost his left hand, and doctors rebuilt his right hand with muscles from his back, groin and leg.
Kenny Reddick returned home from a burn rehabilitation center the day after Josh's first birthday. It was during that recovery period that Kenny Reddick, only 25 at the time, turned to his passion for baseball and taught Josh and his older brother, Bradford, to swing a bat.
"It was kind of a rehab process for both of us," Reddick said. "The way he said it made him feel 'useful' again, it just goes to show the drive and the love for the game my dad had."
A little over a decade later, when Reddick was cut from his middle school team two different times, his dad came through again. He started a travel team -- appropriately named Reddick's Renegades -- that consisted of kids who were cut or didn't try out for the school team.
By the following summer, the team had won a few tournaments, including wins over teams that consisted of kids who played on the school team.
"It was cool to see us do that, with a bunch of guys nobody wanted," Reddick said. "Kind of like this (A's) team."
With a little bit of confidence under his belt, Reddick went on to make his high school team, where he transitioned from a shortstop to an outfielder during his junior year. He then attended NJCAA Middle Georgia College, where he batted .461 as a freshman. The rest, as they say, is history.
More from #MLBPlayers411:
- Reddick is a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fanatic. He often wears a replica WWE championship belt in the clubhouse, which was given to him by pro wrestling friend, Triple H
- He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2006 amateur draft, and made his debut in 2009 against the Baltimore Orioles
- Reddick quickly became a fan favorite upon his arrival to Oakland in 2012, especially among those occupying the right field bleachers at O.co Coliseum
- He converses with fans via Twitter. "Twitter is a very interactive thing to stay close to fans," Reddick said. "You just try and be as good to the fans as you can."
- Reddick can be found on Twitter and Instagram