Monday, June 10, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #35 KEN HILL


SUCCESS WASN'T IN THE CARDS IN ST. LOUIS.





FINISHED WITH A CAREER ERA OF 4.06.

DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Ken Hill came up through the Cardinals' organization but in two separate tours never found his groove in St. Louis. It took being traded to the Expos before the 1992 season for Hill to have his breakout season, winning 16 games. He would win that number of games three times in his 14-year career and 117 overall.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • With the Indians down 2-1 to the Mariners in the ALCS on Oct. 14, 1995, Hill started the pivotal Game 4 and came through. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing five hits with six strikeouts, as Cleveland won 7-0 and evened the series it would go on to claim in six games.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Most likely, Hill would've won more than 16 games in '94 had the strike not occurred in August. He, like several other players, were having career seasons. Hill, pitching for the Expos, finished runner-up for NL Cy Young to #85 Greg Maddux, going 16-5 with a 3.32 ERA in 154.2 innings. He made his first an only All-Star team that season.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Before the '92 season, Hill was traded by the Cards to the Expos for #130 Andres Galarraga, who had one injury-filled season in St. Louis, while Hill went 16-9 with a 2.68 ERA.
  2. Traded back to the Cardinals in April '95 and won only six games before the Indians grabbed him for the stretch run.
  3. Followed Maddux for the NL in the '94 All-Star Game and pitched two no-hit innings.
  4. Signed with the Rangers and had his last good season in '96 with a 16-10 record, 3.63 ERA and a major-league leading three shutouts in 250.2 innings.
  5. Pitched a one-hitter on May 3, 1996, against the Tigers, allowing only a first-inning infield single to Bobby Higginson, as the Rangers won 11-0.

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