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Trey Hillman

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Title: Trey Hillman  
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Subject: Kansas City Royals, Columbus Clippers, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Trey, Coco Crisp, Kyle Farnsworth, Lee Mazzilli, Bob Schaefer, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Ned Yost
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Trey Hillman

Trey Hillman
Hillman with Los Angeles Dodgers, April 2013
Manager / Coach
Born: (1963-01-04) January 4, 1963 (age 51)
Amarillo, Texas
Bats: right Throws: right
Professional debut
NPB: 2003 for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
MLB: March 31, 2008 for the Kansas City Royals
NPB statistics
Games 689
Win–loss record 351–323
Winning % .521
MLB statistics
Games 359
Win–loss record 152–207
Winning % .423

Career highlights and awards

Thomas Brad "Trey" Hillman (born January 4, 1963 in Amarillo, Texas) is an American baseball Manager and Coach. He was the manager of both the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan's Pacific League and the Kansas City Royals in the American League and a coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Playing career

Hillman signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1985 after playing college ball at the University of Texas-Arlington. He played in the Indians farm system from 1985–1987, appearing in 162 games and hitting .179 while playing various infield positions.

Coaching career

Hillman became a scout for the Indians in 1988. He became a manager in the New York Yankees minor league system in 1990 and remained in the Yankees farm system through 2001, including three years (1999–2001) as manager of the AAA Columbus Clippers. He won the league championship in 1990 with the Oneonta Yankees of the New York-Penn League.

He left the Yankees to became the director of player development for the Texas Rangers in 2002.

Managerial Career in Japan

Hillman was invited to manage the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2003. His team won the Pacific League championship in 2006, and returned to defend their title in 2007. It was the first pennant for the franchise in 25 years when they won the championship in 2006, and the repeated success in 2007 was accomplished despite the loss of key players such as Michihiro Ogasawara and Hideki Okajima. His team also won the Japan Series and Asia Series in 2006. The team set a franchise-record 14-game winning streak during the 2007 season.

Pitcher Satoru Kanemura spoke out against Hillman after he had been removed in a two out, bases loaded situation in a game on September 24, 2006. Kanemura was angered because he would have gotten his 10th win of the year if he had gotten through the inning, and the team reacted harshly, penalizing Kanemura with a large fine, and a suspension (which was later shortened). Kanemura apologized to Hillman afterwards and went on to win Game 4 of the Japan Series.


Following the example of Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine, he showed his appreciation towards fans by speaking in broken Japanese sentences. After the game in which Fighters won the pennant in 2006, he shouted "Shinjirarenai!", the Japanese phrase stands for "Unbelievable", to the fans gathered in Sapporo Dome.[1] He repeated the phrase after winning the Nippon Series, and repeated again after winning the Asia Championship. Thus, like Boston Red Sox's "The Impossible Dream", Hillman's "Shinjirarenai" became the most popular term describing Fighters' success in 2006.

Leaving Japan

After the end of the 2006 season, Hillman was one of the final four candidates for the Texas Rangers' managerial position,[2][3] but he eventually lost the job to Oakland Athletics third base coach Ron Washington. He was also a candidate for the San Diego Padres' managerial position around the same time, but the Padres elected to hire Bud Black instead. Following Joe Torre's departure from the New York Yankees, Hillman was considered to be a candidate to become the Yankees' next manager.[3] On October 19, 2007, Hillman signed a multi-year contract to manage the Kansas City Royals.[3] He was the first Major League Baseball manager to be hired based on his Japanese baseball record.[4]

Kansas City Royals

On March 31, 2008, Hillman made his managerial debut for the Kansas City Royals. The Royals defeated the Detroit Tigers 5–4 in 11 innings to earn Hillman his first career managerial victory in MLB. Hillman said "It's a great honor, it's humbling."

Under Hillman, the Royals started the season 3–0 with a series sweep over the heavily favored Detroit Tigers. Through 15 games, the team was 9-6 compared to their 4-11 start from the previous season. By the end of the season, the Royals' 75–87 record was the team's best since 2003. Hillman returned for a second season with the Royals in 2009 but the team tallied a 65–97 record despite a promising start to the season. He served on Joe Maddon's coaching staff for the 2009 MLB All-Star Game.

Hillman was fired as manager of the Royals on May 13, 2010 and replaced by Royals' special adviser Ned Yost after the Royals posted a 12-23 record to begin the 2010 season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

On November 22, 2010, Hillman was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers to become their bench coach under new manager Don Mattingly.

After three seasons at this position, Hillman was fired by the Dodgers on October 22, 2013.[5]


Trey and his wife of more than 15 years, Marie, have two children, a son T.J., and a daughter Brianna, and live in Liberty Hill, TX.


External links

Baseball portal
  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • MLB article on Hillman
  • Bullpen biography from
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brian Butterfield
Oneonta Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
Jack Gillis
Preceded by
Brian Butterfield
Greensboro Hornets Manager
Succeeded by
Bill Evers
Preceded by
Mike Hart
Prince William Cannons Manager
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
first manager
Greensboro Bats Manager
Succeeded by
Rick Patterson
Preceded by
Jake Gibbs
Tampa Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
Lee Mazzilli
Preceded by
Jim Essian
Norwich Navigators Manager
Succeeded by
Lee Mazzilli
Preceded by
Stump Merrill
Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Brian Butterfield
Preceded by
Bob Schaefer
Los Angeles Dodgers Bench Coach
Succeeded by
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