Collin Radack, a 20th round St. Louis Cardinals draft during the 2014 MLB Draft, spoke to Redbird Rants on Tuesday while he was en route to State College.
Daniel Solzman: Collin, thanks for joining Redbird Rants today. How are things treating you as you settle into State College?
Collin Radack: Actually haven’t even made it to State College yet. Sitting in the Chicago O’Hare currently with Austin Gomber waiting on our flight. It’s been a long day full of cancelations and delays so I’m excited to finally get up there tonight!
Daniel Solzman: Can you describe what it felt like when you found out you were drafted by the Cardinals in the 20th round?
Collin Radack: If only I could describe it! It’s been a dream of mine ever since I could pick up a bat. I’ve put in so much hard work up to this point so hearing my name called was a great feeling, especially to the Cardinals. I’m pumped to be a part of such a great organization, I love how they run their system and how they play the game.
Daniel Solzman: When did you first learn that the Cardinals were interested in selecting you??
Collin Radack: Half way through my college season at Hendrix College. Two Cardinal scouts (Dirk Kinney and Mike Roberts) came by to watch one of my practices. They ended up staying that weekend to watch our conference series against Millsaps College. After that weekend they made it very clear to me that they would be looking to take me in the draft.
Daniel Solzman: What’s the reaction been like on Twitter and social media since the draft?
Collin Radack: It’s been incredible! My Twitter and Facebook page has been blowing up with friends, family and Cardinals fans congratulating me and wishing me luck. It’s been cool to see all the love and support.
Daniel Solzman: What did you do during the last week to take your mind off the draft?
Collin Radack: There really was no getting my mind off the draft, just because I had so many people asking me about it. I just tried to stay busy training and getting ready for the summer even though I wasn’t totally sure what was going to happen. I was also able to go visit my girlfriend, Holyn, for a few days in Allen, TX which was a nice way to get my mind off things.
Daniel Solzman: How has Hendrix coach Neil Groat helped in preparing you ready for the next level?
Collin Radack: Coach Groat has been awesome, he was one of the main reasons I even attended Hendrix College. I didn’t have a lot of schools interested in me out of high school so I appreciated him believing in my ability. Coach Groat has just been great throughout the whole process, always keeping me relaxed and focused on how I need to be playing. I can’t thank him enough. Other coaches I want to thank are Kevin Feeney, Jay Mattox, Pat Burton, Andrew Thames, RJ Thomas, Marvin Prestridge, JD Arndt, John Groath, Chris Beck, and Taylor Hargrove.
Daniel Solzman: How exciting is it to have been named the first All-American in Hendrix history?
Collin Radack: Pretty exciting, it was a great way to end my career at Hendrix. Being placed on the Gold Glove team was also a big accomplishment for me. I do my best to be an all around great player so I was very proud that I received those awards.
Daniel Solzman: How honored were you to have been named as the 2014 Southern Athletic Association Man of the Year and Player of the Year?
Collin Radack: Of all the awards/ accolades I’ve received, the Man of the Year award was the most special to me since it’s about more than just athletics. It’s a perfect testament as to what God has done in my life and the amazing people I have around me who believe in me and encourage me everyday.
Daniel Solzman: Seeing as how the Cardinals have been developing their prospects of late, are you looking forward to working with the coaches and veterans during Spring Training next year?
Collin Radack: Very much so! My ability has come a long way over the last 4 years but it is no where near where I want it to be. I can’t wait to get around professional coaches and veterans who can help me take my game to the next level. I know I have so much to learn from them.
Daniel Solzman: The Hall of Famers always make a visit in Jupiter during Spring Training. Is there anyone in particular that you are really looking forward to meeting?
Collin Radack: Ozzie Smith—would love to hear some tips on stealing bags.
Daniel Solzman: What is something that you like to do for fun when you are not playing baseball?
Collin Radack: That’s always a funny question to me because I feel like most all of my time involves baseball and training for baseball :). But anyways, I enjoy playing my guitar and listening to music. Anything involving being outside I’m game for too especially when the weather is nice.
Daniel Solzman: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Collin Radack: Even though I’m not a Yankees fan I loved watching Derek Jeter play. He’s the definition of a professional and who any kid should model himself after. Also, JT Snow when he played for the Giants. He was the man.
Daniel Solzman: What is something that Cardinals fans should know about you?
Collin Radack: My faith is the most important thing about me. I will work part time for a sports ministry called Athletes in Action in the offseason. A verse I try to live by is John 3:30- He must become greater, I must become less. It really puts my life into prospective and keeps me humble. The only reason I have this opportunity to play pro ball is because of the Lord. I’m extremely thankful for everything he’s done and for all the awesome people he’s put in my life.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining us and best of luck as your make your way up through the organization. Any words for the best fans in baseball?
Collin Radack: You guys are awesome, thanks so much for all the support! Be keeping up with the Spikes this summer you’ll definitely see us win a championship!