Glenallen Hill Sr. Dishes on Managing Team and Son
By Jimmy Lynn
When Glenallen Hill Jr. bashed his first home run of the 2020 City of Champions Cup for the Chicago Deep Dish on Saturday, his father—Deep Dish manager Glenallen Hill Sr.—was not surprised due to the confidence he has in his son.
“I’ve been coaching him privately for most of his life,” Hill Sr. said. “So to see him go out and do his thing is not surprising to me.”
After 14 seasons of coaching and managing in the Colorado Rockies organization, including six seasons with the Major League squad, Hill Sr. received an opportunity to manage his son’s team in the 2020 City of Champions Cup in Joliet—a scenario that many professional baseball coaches dream about. Prior to the current season, Hill Sr. had only seen his son play a handful of times due to his busy coaching schedule, making this summer particularly special for the father-son duo. When Hill Jr. was younger, he spent parts of his summers with his father around various professional clubhouses and teams.
“He has grown up with me in baseball his whole entire life,” said Hill Sr. on his son’s childhood. “Those were really cool moments—to be able to carve out some time in his schedule and his mom’s busy schedule was something we always took advantage of.”
At just 19 years of age, Hill Jr. is one of the youngest players in the 2020 City of Champions Cup, but he proved he can compete with more experienced players after his performance in Saturday’s game. In addition to his solo home run, Hill Jr. singled, walked and stole two bases, demonstrating the polished all-around game that got him selected in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft.
For a 5-foot-9-inch, 170-pound middle infielder, Hill Jr. boasts surprising power at the plate. Despite Saturday’s homer, however, Hill Sr. does not necessarily see his son panning out as a slugger.
“No, he is not a home run hitter,” Hill Sr. said with a laugh. “He’s trying to be a .300 hitter.”
Hill Sr. was a multidimensional offensive threat throughout his 13-season MLB career, including two stints with the Chicago Cubs from 1993-1994 and 1998-2000, batting .271 with 186 home runs and 96 stolen bases for seven different Major League teams. Though Hill Jr. flashes multiple tools on offense, too, his father believes he is a different baseball player than he was.
“He is his own player,” Hill Sr. said. “He’s much more skilled at playing baseball than I was. I think if there are any similarities, the speed factor is probably the only one.”
Though some managers might struggle at balancing the roles of manager and father if their son was on the roster, Hill Sr. has not noticed a major difference in his managing style as a result of Hill Jr.’s presence.
“When I’m managing, I treat all the players that I’m managing like my son,” Hill Sr. said. “I treat them all the same way.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated baseball in 2020, Hill Sr.’s primary goal for his team this season is to make sure that his players gain valuable professional baseball experience and have fun while doing it. Though the wins will come as the season progresses, Hill Sr. acknowledges that his players are more focused on getting back on the field, improving their games and enjoying the experience. Hill Sr. feels it is his responsibility as manager to foster a supportive environment.
“These kids have made pretty big sacrifices under these circumstances to come out ... and try to further their careers,” Hill Sr. said. “I think they’re very courageous, and so the least that I can do is provide them with a situation where they can go out and have fun, and just play free.”
The Chicago Deep Dish has started the season 1-3, although players such as Hill Jr., infielder Peyton Isaacson and outfielder Andre Nnebe have gotten off to strong starts. Come on out to DuPage Medical Group Field to see two generations of baseball excellence in Hill Sr. and Hill Jr., along with the rest of the Chicago Deep Dish!
About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois. They will play their 10th season in 2020. Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the office at 815-722-2287 for more information. Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers and Instagram at @jolietslammersofficial
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