The Chicago Cubs could have a record of 9-0, or even 0-9 going into a series at Pittsburgh today but because of the state of our nation’s current pandemic, we’re all at home and we truly don’t know when baseball, or any sports, will be back.
The screen time on my iPhone is up about 80 percent since this pandemic began and it’s likely because the amount of old highlights I’ve consumed, including Glenallen Hill’s moon shot into the rooftop bleachers on May 11, 2000.
Watching highlights like these had led me to wondering where former Cubs are now.
Well, here’s a bit of Hill’s back story and 13-year playing career.
Hill got the nickname “Spiderman” early in career after a sleepwalking incident where he experienced a nightmare about spiders chasing him. He was playing for the Toronto Blue Jays at the time.
The nightmare landed him on the disabled list due to him falling through a glass table and down a flight of stairs during his nightmare, suffering from scrapes on his knees, elbows and feet. Hill was considered an arachnophobe.
He offered reporters to come to his home to see the blood stains to show he wasn’t making the story up when the news of his DL stint became known.
Hill played for seven major league teams including two stints with the Cubs from 1993-1994 and 1998-2000.
August 19, 1993, Hill was traded from Cleveland to the Cubs for Candy Maldonaldo. He finished the final 31 games with the Cubs hitting 10 home runs and driving in 21 runs.
Before the strike in 1994, Hill played in 89 games and batted .297 with 10 homeruns and 38 runs batted in. He was granted free agency in April of 1995.
Maldonado was 32 years old when the Cubs traded him and went on to play two more seasons with Cleveland, Toronto and Texas.
Hill’s best years were with the Cubs in his last stint. He began the 1998 season with the Seattle Mariners but was traded to the Cubs later in the season. In his final 48 games Hill slashed .351/.414/.573 in a 145 plate appearances.
In total he only played 122 games but finished with 20 home runs and finished with career highs in batting average (.310) and slugging percentage (.538).
He went on to be very productive for the Cubs at the back end of his career in 1999 and 2000. He slashed .300/.353/.581 and finished with another 20 home run season in ’99 and slashed .262/.303/.494 before the Cubs traded him to the Yankees in 2000. For the season, he hit .293 and slugged .600 on his way to a career high 27 home runs.
Unfortunately, he could not stay on the field, playing in just 99 games in 1999 and 104 games in 2000.
Who did the Cubs get in return for Hill? Guys by the name of Ben Ford and Oswaldo Mairena. Ford never played for the Cubs and Mairena appeared in two games for the Cubs in 2000.
After his playing days, he began his coaching career in 2003 for the Colorado Rockies minor league system. He was the Rockies first base coach from 2007-2012. He’s managed in the Rockies minor league affiliates until the end of the 2019 season.
In 2007, he became an advocate for first base coaches wearing helmets after the death of Mike Coolbaugh, who passed after a line drive to the head while working as a first base coach for a Rockies minor league affiliate.
After the tragedy Hill and Rene Lachemann were the first coaches to maned first base to consistently wear helmets at the major league level.
In 2008, the MLB enforced a rule that says coaches must wear helmets at all bases.
Hill was mentioned in the infamous Mitchell Report where Bill Radomski alleged Hill used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Radomski claimed he sent Hill a bottle of HGH after they discussed Hill’s dissatisfaction of a previous bottle of HGH at a social event in 2000.
During the investigation, Hill denied using HGH that Radomski provided him. He said it was a one-time purchase and said he never used steroids.
His son, Glenallen Hill Jr., was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth round of the 2019 draft.
From the looks of that video, Hill Jr. has a bright future.
Hill has definitely lived an interesting life and career. If there is a particular player you’re interested in knowing more about, tweet me @codelmendo and I’ll take a deep dive.