The moment you’ve waited your entire Cubs fan life is finally here. The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time is back! On to the outfield!
If you squeezed Roger the ripped kangaroo into a Cubs uniform and taught him how to hit a baseball, you’d have the starting left fielder on the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time, Cubs legend Glenallen Hill.
Some say Hill wasn’t born, but created in a lab by a scientist who hated baseballs SO MUCH. He was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 9th round of the 1983 draft before Jay Buhner. He got his first cup of coffee with the Jays during the 1989 season. In his MLB debut, he went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI. Somehow, neither of his two hits broke the facade at Yankee Stadium.
In 1990, Hill broke camp with the Jays and slashed .231/.281/.435 in his first full season. That .435 was largely because Hill had terrifying power. He hit 12 home runs, 11 doubles, and 3 triples in 278 plate appearances that year. In 1991, the first-place Jays needed another arm in their rotation, so they sent Hill, Denis Boucher, and Mark Whiten to the Cleveland Indians for Tom Candiotti and Turner Ward.
Hill put up a .241/.293/.415 line as a part-time player with Cleveland, so the Cubs naturally had to have him. On August 19, 1993, they sent struggling outfielder Candy Maldonado to the Indians, the eventual 2016 World Series losers, in exchange for Hill.
Chicago was the longest stay of Hill’s journeyman career, and it’s not hard to see why. Hill flourished in a Cub uniform. In parts of five seasons in Chicago, Hill slashed .304/.360/.546, hitting 59 home runs and driving in 167 RBIs in 993 plate appearances. The Cubs brought Hill back on a one-year contract as a free agent after the 1993 season, and he rewarded them with a .297/.365/.461 line. He hit 10 home runs in the strike-shortened 1994 season, and I’ll just say it right now. He would have hit 100 if they’d played all 162 games.
The Cubs foolishly let Hill go just before the 1995 season, and the San Francisco Giants, the eventual 2016 NLDS losers, snapped him up two days later. He played decently in three seasons with the Giants before signing with the Mariners prior to the 1998 season. The Cubs took him off waivers on July 6 of that season to bolster what would be an eventual wild card finish. What they didn’t realize was that Hill’s performance would inspire them to win the World Series just 18 short years later. Back with his beloved Cubs, Hill would finish the season by slashing .351/.414/.573 with 8 home runs and 23 RBIs in 145 plate appearances.
The Cubs resigned hill prior to the 1999 season, and again he rewarded them with great numbers. He slashed .300/.353/.581 with 20 home runs and 55 RBIs in 278 plate appearances. He had less success at the start of the 2000 season, so in a move that would rival Brock-for-Broglio, the Cubs sent him to the New York Yankees for Ben Ford and Oswaldo Mairena. “Who?” indeed. The Cubs’ fallen legend played out the rest of his days in New York and eventually Anaheim before calling it quits after the 2001 season. Had he held out just 15 more years, the 2016 Cubs certainly would have added him to the roster over Chris F. Coghlan.
Hill has been a coach in the Colorado Rockies organization since 2003, and he was one of the guys who led the charge to have base coaches wear helmets. He’s currently the manager of the AAA
Springfield Albuquerque Isotopes.
In 2007, Hill was named in the Mitchell Report for allegedly using P.E.D.s, which is absolute NONSENSE.
Greatest Cub Moment: I know nowadays we’re used to seeing Cubs players crush baseballs, but back in 2000, this was pretty impressive, even though the Cubs eventually lost 14-8 to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Worst Moment as a Human: Nearly getting killed by a spider. You see, Hill was terrified of spiders, and apparently rolled around in glass while sleeprunning away from some spiders.