Redmond thrilled to be joined by kids at park

Redmond thrilled to be joined by kids at park

Redmond thrilled to be joined by kids at park

MIAMI -- Three No. 11 jerseys of late take the field when the Marlins begin batting practice before each home game.

Miami manager Mike Redmond stands in front of the mound and throws batting practice to his team. Meanwhile, his sons, Michael and Ryan, shag flies, field grounders and even squeeze in some batting practice.

"As a father, that's pretty fun," Redmond said. "It's pretty fun to be able to take this journey with my own kids. Whether they play baseball or not, whatever. That doesn't even matter. It's fun for me to get to spend as much time as I can with them."

The first-year Marlins manager, who makes Spokane, Wash., home, was thrilled on Sunday to have his sons at Marlins Park to help celebrate Father's Day.

"It's a kid's game," Redmond said. "I get to drive in with my kids every day, and they're so excited to be out here on the field and being in the clubhouse with the guys."

While Redmond enjoys sharing his experience with his children on a personal basis, he also noted that the presence of his sons on the field and in the clubhouse is a positive influence for his team.

"When I was coming up as a player, it was always great to have little kids because it just kind of puts things into perspective," Redmond said. "Little kids, man, they don't care if you went 0-for-4 last night, or 4-for-4.

"They just want to hang out and talk and admire the players. My kids are like that. They sit there and they watch the guys and they root for them and they cheer for them. They want them to do well, and they love just being around them."

Much like his own sons, Redmond and his twin brother, Pat, learned the game from their father, Pat Sr. While his father passed away in 2000 after battling cancer, Redmond will take comfort in the memories he shares with his dad this Father's Day.

"I know my dad's looking down and watching," Redmond said. "He's up there, and we definitely miss him."

As part of Major League Baseball's initiative, Father's Day is a time to raise awareness about prostate cancer. The lineup cards in the dugout were powder blue, as were the wrist bands worn by many of the players.

Prior to Sunday's game, rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez spent some time in the team's dugout with about a dozen children and dads to recognize Father's Day. Postgame, fathers had the opportunity to play catch with their sons on the outfield grass.

"It's incredible, today I had the chance to be with some kids, and hopefully they're going to have a good time and have some fun," said Fernandez, who was happy to have his mother come in from Tampa to be at the game. "It's incredible to do something like this for the kids."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter