Obscure Athlete Spotlight: Glenallen Hill

Originally Posted at http://www.obscureathletes.com

When I think of the longest home runs I’ve ever seen, the first that comes to mind is the “It’s gotta be the shoes” homer by Glenallen Hill in 2000, when Hill was a member of the Cubs. It was later confirmed that the home run reached over 500 feet onto the roof at Wrigley:

glenallenhillLater on, we found out it was the juice, not the shoes. But nonetheless, “Spiderman” Glenallen Hill was a solid ballplayer throughout the 90’s. He hit 20 home runs four times, and all told, Hill suited up for seven different teams in parts of 13 MLB seasons.

He earned the Spiderman nickname because of an incident in  1990, in which he had a terrible nightmare about spiders, and sprung out of bed, only to fall down a flight of stairs, sustaining injuries that resulted in Hill being placed on the Disabled List.

Hill was one of…. wait, I’m pretty sure THE worst defensive outfielder I’ve ever seen at the Major League level. He was an adventure, whether in left or right field. In the National League he was often featured as a pinch-hitter as a result of his comical ineptitude in the field, and for the same reason, saw a lot of time at DH when he played for AL clubs.

Another thing that I’ll always remember about Glenallen Hill is the LEGENDARY stretch he had in 2000 after he was traded to the Yankees. On July 21 of that year, Chicago sent Hill to the Yanks for Ben Ford and Oswaldo Mairena. Hill would play just 40 games in Yankee pinstripes, but in that time he hit a whopping sixteen dingers and gathered 29 RBI. He hit .333 in 143 plate appearances. The man simply could not be stopped. For his efforts, Hill would earn his first and  only World Series ring for the Yankees.

That 2000 season would end up being Hill’s last full year in the Majors, however, as the Angels released him during the following season. Hill has been a coach in various positions since 2003, and is currently the manager of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Rockies. I hope, before long, Hill ends up joining fellow 90’s ballplayers Mike Matheny, Walt Weiss, and Robin Ventura as MLB managers.

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