Sept. 21, 2015
WASHINGTON - As the Georgetown baseball team prepared for its second intrasquad scrimmage of the fall on Sunday morning, the Hoyas had a surprise visitor waiting for them in McDonough Arena. Michael Hill, President of Baseball Operations for the Miami Marlins, had come to the Hilltop to address the team and answer some questions.
Hill spoke to the Hoyas for approximately 45 minutes about the importance of playing for the sake of the team rather than the name on the back of the jersey. The most successful teams and organizations that he has been a part of have been a close-knit group where every player made himself accountable for both himself and his teammates. There were no individuals out there playing for just themselves, but rather 25 guys forming one unit. Hill also stressed the importance of only worrying about controlling what can be controlled, such as attention to detail, enthusiasm and work ethic.
Hill has been a part of Miami's front office since 2002, earning a World Series ring in 2003 when the Marlins defeated the New York Yankees in six games to capture the fall classic. He has served in several rolls including vice president, assistant general manager, general manager and has been in his current position since September 2013. Since he became the president of baseball operations, the Marlins have improved from a 62-100 record and last-place finish in the division in 2013 to a 77-win season and fourth-place finish in 2014 and are currently sitting in third place in the National League East. Hill's biggest move came this past offseason when he signed Miami's superstar outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton, to a 13-year, $325-million contract extension.
Hill, who was in town as the Marlins took on the division-rival Washington Nationals, played both baseball and football at Harvard University. In 1992 and 1993, his junior and senior seasons, he played for Georgetown Head Coach Pete Wilk, who was then an assistant coach for the Crimson.
Following a prominent career at Harvard, Hill was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 31st round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft. He played two seasons in the Rangers' system and one year in the Reds organization before taking a front office job with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Hill worked in the Tampa Bay organization for five seasons as an assistant in the scouting and player development departments. In 1999, he left the Devil Rays to become the director of player development for the Colorado Rockies, a position that he held until 2002 when he left to join the front office of the Marlins.
Hel joins a long list of baseball greats that Wilk has brought to the Hilltop to speak with the Hoyas, including fellow major league general managers Sandy Alderson (New York Mets) and Dan Duquette (Baltimore Orioles). In the 11 years of the First Pitch Dinner, Wilk has also secured current and former major league managers Terry Francona and Larry Bowa, former major league pitcher Jamie Moyer and former major league umpire Bruce Froemming to speak to the Blue & Gray as well as ESPN's Tim Kurkjian, 1980 U.S. Olympian Jim Craig and the late Tim Russert of NBC's Meet the Press.