Josh Reddick’s Southern Upbringing Helps Red Sox Outfielder Thrive in Scorching Summer Heat

Josh Reddick's Southern Upbringing Helps Red Sox Outfielder Thrive in Scorching Summer Heat It was 87 degrees when the first pitch was fired in by Tim Wakefield after 7 p.m. on July 6. That's pretty steamy for an evening affair.

To someone like Josh Reddick, who grew up playing ball under the Georgia sun, it's child's play.

"I think being from the South actually helps out a little bit [on hot days] because you're kind of used to it," Reddick said. "All you can do is hydrate."

That is the fundamental rule when it comes to playing baseball in warm weather, or performing any activity for that matter. Sometimes, however, even that is not enough. Reddick recalls a few instances from his youth when the conditions were almost too severe to press on.

There was the time in the Georgia State Games when the temperature at Grayson Stadium in Savannah was 105 degrees and rising when the team took the field.

"We all had to play in that," he said.

Two years earlier, in another tournament, three of his teammates became so overheated that they had to be removed from the game and put in an air-conditioned room. Reddick and his teammates learned later that the trainers who made the call on that were affiliated with the other team, so something seemed fishy.

Still, the conditions were such that the removals were made without much of an argument. Reddick said his team got revenge by defeating the same team in the finals.

"I guess karma kicked them in the butt," he said with a smile.

As the dog days of summer progress, Reddick and his Red Sox teammates will encounter many more stifling afternoons. A four-game series in Texas in August has already been circled by some as a dangerous stretch of the schedule.

Surely, the team will take every precaution to keep everyone hydrated and healthy as they race on and off the field in the intense heat of Arlington. Even those not running around the bases, but rather sitting in their living room, can suffer the effects of heat and humidity this summer.

Taking every precaution at home is essential.

For Reddick and his colleagues, the approach remains simple.

"For a guy like me, whether it be cold or hot, I'm still trying to gain weight and do that kind of thing," he said. "My biggest thing has been always get some food in and keep that on me, and drink plenty of water…Take as much in as you’re putting out. Keep it simple, that's all you can do."

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