Reperfusion injury during myocardial infarction accounts for approximately half of final infarct size. Whereas this has been known for decades, efficacious therapy targeting reperfusion injury remains elusive. Many proteins are subject to reversible acetylation, and drugs targeting enzymes that govern these events have emerged in oncology. Among these, small molecules targeting protein deacetylating enzymes, so-called histone deacetylases (HDACs), are approved for human use in rare cancers. Now, work emerging from multiple laboratories, and in both mice and large animals, has documented that HDAC inhibition using compounds approved for clinical use confers robust cardioprotection when delivered at the time of myocardial reperfusion. Here, we summarize the key underpinnings of this science, discuss potential mechanisms, and provide a framework for a first-in-human clinical trial.