Nearing the end of his Andover Baseball career, in last weekend’s championship game against Phillips Exeter Academy, Anthony Redfern ’18 tossed a complete game two-hit shutout, including seven strikeouts, to propel Andover to the championship title.
Co-Captain Joe Simourian ’18 said, “He pitched really well. He was locked in and looked like an animal up there. Everyone on the field and in the dugout knew he would get each batter out.”
“He stayed locked in every second of the game and lead us to victory,” added Co-Captain Travis Lane ’18.
Redfern’s passion for the sport, along with his tremendous performances this season have earned him the title of The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
When and why did you start playing baseball?
Baseball has always been a part of my family, especially for my Dad and I. I came home from the hospital as a baby and my Dad already put a glove and ball in my crib. So, technically, I started playing that moment. But actually, the first competitive baseball I played was T-Ball when I was four. Since then, I have been playing baseball every year and continue to do so for however long the game allows for me to play it.
What position did you play growing up and what is your favorite position to play now?
I tried to play every position growing up, but I primarily focused on playing catcher. I was a catcher from about eight until I came here as a repeat Lower when John Simourian ’16 was here. About halfway through the season, I realized that I really enjoyed pitching, and it quickly became my favorite position and my main focus.
Who has been your greatest baseball influence?
I have had many great baseball influences through my life. [Head Coach Kevin Graber] has had the most impact on me as a coach and mentor throughout the last five years. I am forever in debt to him and his family for helping me get to where I am today. But, I would say the greatest influence in baseball; and life, has been my Dad. He has taught me so much about baseball, work ethic, life, and so many other things that have allowed me to be the baseball player I am today. There is no bond between a son, Dad, and baseball and our relationship is no different. My Dad has sacrificed thousands of hours to practice, hit ground balls, play catch, drive me to practice across the state and he has never missed a game I have pitched.
What do you believe are your biggest strengths as a player?
I believe my greatest strength as a player is my work ethic. I truly believe if you want something, you have to outwork every person in front of you to capture it. There is no excuse for not working your hardest. I did not have God-given talent growing up, I had to work for it and there is no greater feeling to see all your hard work pay off.
How would you describe the team environment?
This is the closest team I have ever played on. I truly believe that the chemistry that our team had this year helped us win a championship, and that is a bond we will forever carry with us for the rest of our lives. We always tried keeping things light and the veterans on the team really took the rookies under our wing and made our team very close.
What does it mean to you to win the championship in your final year at Andover?
Winning a championship in my final year at [Andover] means everything. We won the championship my first year, as a Lower, and to lose last year then to come back and win this year meant the world. I remember sitting at graduation last year and thinking “I can’t possibly sit at graduation next year and know that I walk away from [Andover] losing the championship.” So the Seniors made sure we did everything to have the feeling of relief and content when walking away from [Andover] as a champion.
How did it feel to pitch so well in the championship game against Exeter?
It felt amazing to pitch well in the championship game. I give all the credit to my catcher, Tristan Latham [’18]. We have become extremely close the past few years and we were on the same page all game long. I had the pitch grip in my glove before he put down the sign, we had so much chemistry. We studied the Exeter lineup tremendously and to go an execute at such a high level was a great feeling. Also, the defense behind me was so good, as it has been all seen. As a kid, you always dream of winning and of being the pitcher on the mound throwing the last out to win a championship. Being able to start the game and end the game, on the mound, celebrating as a Senior with 17 brothers in massive pig pile was a tremendous feeling that I will never forget.