Glenallen Hill – 1991 Fleer

March 21, 2011

Spider Man, Spider Man…

On an AOL Cubs’ fan board (remember those?) I got into huge arguments with those who I decided were stats neanderthals (basically Glen Beckert was their ideal second baseman because he didn’t strike out) about the value of Glenallen Hill.

The uproar started when I said that Hill was defensively challenged, a platoon player and was losing his speed. They took that as an affront to his manhood, especially when I said he was losing his speed. To them, I said he didn’t hustle. I didn’t say that. He was getting slower and no longer stealing bases or using his speed. (Little known to us, he was juicing (he admitted it) and the bulk cut down his speed.)

They saw Hill playing full blast all the time and thought he was what the Cubs needed – hustle. Never mind he was getting slower. Never mind that he played defense “aking to watching a gaffed haddock surfacing for air”. He was what the Cubs needed. Yes, he could mash the ball – but he wasn’t a good fit and getting older. When his bat went, he was out of the league quickly.

At times, the Cubs played an outfield of Henry Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Glenallen Hill. Can you count the doubles to the gap during those games, children? It’s probably a very big number!

My retort was that those guys wanted the young Hill, not the Hill that was playing in Wrigley in 1999. But no matter, I was a stats geek-o (though part of my argument was that Lou Piniella got sick of him and released him in 1998, so that wasn’t so empirical was it?)

The Hill in this card was that player. He  was fast, could hustle, he just didn’t hit as well as he did later in his career.

And why the nickname Spiderman? Turns out when he was a youngster in Toronto, he was sleepwalking and dreaming about spiders and fell through a glass window.

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3 Responses to “Glenallen Hill – 1991 Fleer”

  1. Larry Says:

    I would argue Hill was a ballplayer statheads should have loved in his prime – except in 2011 the statheads seem to have shifted from favoring players who can just mash the ball and take a walk to favoring players who also look good defensively, according to the advanced metrics.


  2. [...] Glenallen Hill – 1991 Fleer « Smed's Baseball Card Blog Glenallen Hill – 1991 Fleer Spider Man, Spider Man… On an AOL Cubs' fan board (remember those?) I got into huge arguments with those who I decided were stats neanderthals (basically Glen Beckert was their ideal second baseman because . [...]


  3. [...] a .705 OPS and just a 0.4 WAR, having lost the starting center field job in the process in favor of Glenallen Hill. Now, an outfield of Derrick May, Hill and Sammy Sosa would probably cause the pitchers to sue the [...]


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