hillman.jpgYou may not know this, but back on October 19th, the Kansas City Royals named Trey Hillman as their new manager (the news was rudely overshadowed by the Boston Red Sox who insisted on playing Game 6 of their series against the Indians the following day, thus putting themselves above the game of baseball). So who’s Trey Hillman, you ask? Well, even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you.

Hillman was last employed by a MLB team in 2002, when the Texas Rangers appointed him as Director of Player Development, and was a manager in the Yankees farm system for eleven years prior. For the last five years, though, Hillman was on the other side of the earth, managing the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. And no, the team name is not the “Ham Fighters”. It’s just the Fighters. Nippon Ham is a company that owns the club. And yes, they make ham. Let’s move on.

Hillman had much success managing the Fighters, winning the NPB title in 2006. And somewhere along the line, he became a cult icon. As Joe Posnanski writes, “They love Hillman in Japan”. (By the way, even Bobby Valentine has a huge fanbase over there. In fact, Valentine has a hamburger named after him called “Bobby Burger”, which is sold at the fast-food chain Lotteria. The burger apparently has cheese, barbecue sauce, and a pineapple.)

Hillman even has a restaurant dedicated to him in Sapporo (where the Fighters play) called Hillman’s Hangout, which according to the website is an “American-style Bar & Grill”. The Hangout had its grand opening on October 11th! Then eight days later, it was announced that Hillman was leaving Japan to manage the Royals… Ouch…

But if you’re ever in the Sapporo-neighborhood and get a hankering for an Onion Loaf with a Thousand Island sauce, stop on by to Hillman’s Hangout. Tell them UmpBump sent you (and you will most likely receive some puzzled looks).

2 Responses to “This Post Is Not About A-Rod (It’s about Trey Hillman)”

  1. And I had been spreading the misinformation that the team was called the Ham Fighters. Now you tell me.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    I always thought it odd to fight ham. Ham is meant to be eaten, not battled.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]