Herman Hill

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Herman Hill
Centerfielder/Pinch runner
Born: (1945-10-12)October 12, 1945
Tuskegee, Alabama
Died: December 14, 1970(1970-12-14) (aged 25)
Valencia, Venezuela
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 2, 1969 for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1970 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
Batting average .083
Runs scored 12
Hits 2

Herman Alexander Hill (October 12, 1945 – December 14, 1970) was an American professional baseball player, an outfielder who appeared in 43 Major League games for the 19691970 Minnesota Twins. Hill's life and baseball career were prematurely ended when he accidentally drowned in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela during the 1970 winter baseball season.[1]

A native of Tuskegee, Alabama, who grew up in Farmingdale, New Jersey,[2] Hill threw right-handed, batted left-handed, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg). He signed with the Twins in 1966 and rose through their farm system. He was described in March 1969 by Baseball Digest as a "Good prospect. Has hustle, desire, determination. Speedy baserunner and hits with power."[2] After batting .300 with 31 stolen bases in 1969 for the Denver Bears of the Triple-A American Association,[3] Hill was recalled that September. He served as a pinch runner in his first 11 MLB appearances before Twins' manager Billy Martin used him as a pinch hitter and backup centerfielder.[4] He went hitless in two at bats and scored four runs.

In 1970, he split the season between the Triple-A Evansville Triplets and Minnesota, appearing in 27 MLB games in June, July and September. On June 29 at Metropolitan Stadium, Hill started in centerfield and collected his first two Major League hits, both singles off Dick Drago of the Kansas City Royals. Hill also scored two runs in a 5–4 Minnesota victory.[5] Hill started again the next day, but was hitless in five at bats and the remainder of his MLB career was a pinch runner, pinch hitter or late-inning defensive replacement.[6] During his Minnesota career, Hill batted 24 times with two hits (both on June 29, 1969), no runs batted, one stolen base and two caught stealings. He scored 12 runs.

After being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in October 1970, Hill played winter baseball in Venezuela. He drowned while swimming near Valencia at age 25.


  1. ^ Jet, December 31, 1970, p. 52
  2. ^ a b Minnesota Twins Rookie Scouting Reports, Baseball Digest, March 1969, page 90
  3. ^ Minor league statistics from Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Retrosheet
  5. ^ 1970-6-29 box score from Retrosheet
  6. ^ Retrosheet

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