CHICAGO -- Mike Redmond realized he'd be returning to U.S. Cellular Field shortly after he accepted the job as Marlins manager in November. Then the memories started pouring back.
When Redmond played for the Marlins in 2004, he called the ballpark home for two days. With Hurricane Ivan approaching the coast of Florida, the Marlins had to play two of their five home games against the Expos in Chicago on September 13 and 14. Florida couldn't afford any more rainouts after two of their games were postponed because of Hurricane Frances a week earlier against the Cubs.
To compensate, the Marlins played a four-game set in three days against the Cubs at Wrigley Field then moved across town to their new home away from home. The hotel that was housing the team couldn't handle its extended reservation, so the Marlins had to stay out in the suburbs and commute to the stadium.
"They tried to make it like a home game, so we had our PA announcer and organist," Redmond said. "They tried to make it as realistic as possible because we were still in it. We were close."
But in the end, Florida missed the playoffs. Redmond said the long trip away from home wore that team out, as the Marlins lost 14 of their next 21 games.
"I don't think I'll ever forget that, any time you ever play home games in somebody else's stadium," Redmond said. "There was just nobody here. It was like playing a Spring Training game, and the fans that were here were rooting for us because they didn't want the Cubs to make the playoffs."
Ethan Asofsky is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less