Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Texas Tech third baseman Reid Redman has taken an unconventional route to Lubbock, but no matter the road Redman is just happy to be home.
After graduating from Midland Christian High School in 2007, Redman went on to play for Midland College. He very modestly gives credit to his coach and his entire experience at Midland College for helping him reach the point he is at today.
"Out of high school I went to Midland College and played for Coach David Coleman for two years which really helped me develop and made me into a lot better player," Redman said. "I definitely wouldn't be playing at this level if I wouldn't have taken that route to junior college out of high school."
Following two seasons at Midland College he transferred to Baylor, but Redman was no stranger to Texas Tech as his father, Dale Redman, was a part of the baseball team from 1981 to 1984. While Redman is grateful for his time at Baylor he says it was the desire to come home that led him to Lubbock.
"I ended up deciding to play at Baylor and spent the fall there. I really enjoyed all the guys but it wasn't West Texas, it wasn't home. So I decided to come to Tech," Redman recalled. "I wasn't really sure I was going to play baseball. I just wanted to come back home and come back to where I was comfortable here at Tech, where I had grown up. I came and had fun watching all the guys mess around. I had the opportunity to build some good relationships, and that is how I am here."
Although Redman planned to attend Tech as only a student he could not pass up the opportunity to play baseball. After sitting out a year because of NCAA transfer rules, Redman was ready to make his case for a spot on the team.
Redman said one of the most difficult, but most important, aspects of being a newcomer to a team is to earn everyone's respect.
"Really you just want to come in and earn everyone's respect," Redman said. "Guys that have been playing here and guys you really don't know, you want all of them to think you belong. You want to earn the players' and the coaches' respect, and just come out everyday and take care of business."
However, coming in as a shortstop would prove to have additional challenges for the junior. With the shortstop position projected to be occupied by another JUCO transfer, Kelby Tomlinson, Redman very selflessly had no problem transitioning to third base where he immediately found a home.
As one of the most defensively sound players on the team, Redman easily and smoothly made the transition to third with a .972 fielding percentage and only three errors through 33 games.
Redman is also one of only four other players to start every game in the same position making him a staple in the lineup. His defense has been spectacular, to say the least, much to the delight of his teammates, coaches and fans.
"I am definitely comfortable at third," Redman said, "Since Kelby does a lot of things on the field that a lot of people can't do and a lot of things that I can't do, I am happy over at third base. I am enjoying playing third, it is where I have played everyday, and I just want to play where I fit in and where I can help the team win."
Redman has also been a big contributor on offense for the Red Raiders, currently hitting .314 with 23 RBI and an on-base percentage of .419, despite making the jump in competition from junior college to the Big 12.
"The competition is definitely a step up," Redman said. "You kind of have a tendency to relax in junior college and take a pitch or two off, but you can't do that anymore because the competition is so good. Every pitch is important, so you have to stay focused at this level."
Even with his remarkable defense and stellar offensive numbers head coach Dan Spencer is most impressed with the motivator and leader Redman has become despite being new to the team.
"He has a pretty good flat line personality, but he gets sparked up in the dugout at times," Spencer said. "Reid knows how the game is supposed to be played and you need a player to be like a coach on the field and demand that things get done a certain way. Reid has done that. It is hard to do that when you are a first-year player, but he is taking more responsibility for his teammates. That is definitely going to help us down the road."
Spencer also knows Redman's success stems from the person he is off of the diamond, the work ethic he brings everyday and the perseverance he displays in his attitude.
"Before being a good baseball player he is a solid kid, he has great character," Spencer said. "He has played very good defense and I am very glad to have him, obviously. He has played everyday and played a little bit hurt, but he is a steady guy. He is both a very good player and a very good kid."
Redman, always humble, is never shy to admit he is excited to have the opportunity to play baseball and contribute to the team, most of all. And he is excited to be back home, in West Texas.
"I am having the time of my life," Redman said. "I am having a blast. I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be. I am extremely blessed to be here, and to be in this situation. Getting to contribute to the team is just icing on the cake and hopefully we can keep some success going. We really want to get this program turned around."