Catching Up with Logan Hill
Photo credit: David Mahussier

 

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted baseball at all levels. Few players, however, have had to navigate as much uncertainty as Goldeyes’ outfielder Logan Hill.

In 2019, Hill combined for 48 extra-base hits and 72 RBI at the upper levels of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system, but was released by the organization the following June.

As the pandemic unfolded and the affiliated minor leagues postponed (and ultimately canceled) their seasons, opportunities for players like Hill to catch on with another MLB club were effectively eliminated.

 

Post-Game High Fives, 2021
Post-Game High Fives in WPG, 2021. Photo Credit: David Mahussier

 

The American Association organized an abbreviated, 60-game schedule, and the Goldeyes were set to participate as a road team based in Fargo, North Dakota. Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney signed Hill to a contract, and the team defied the odds of their circumstances for much of the season.

“We got off to a really hot start, and we were really dominating the league,” Hill said of the 2020 season. “I think as a team, we just got tired from being constantly on the road. That really wore on us.”

The Goldeyes led the six-team league into late-August before an 11-game losing streak dashed their playoff hopes. Despite falling short of the postseason, the club earned high praise across the league for pushing through with Forney being voted Manager of the Year.

 

I know we were only in Winnipeg for a month, but our time there was so incredible for the whole team.

 

Hill was re-signed for the 2021 season, but where the Goldeyes would call home was once again undetermined. The Fish ultimately settled in Jackson, Tennessee (former home to the Double-A Jackson Generals) with no promise that a return to Winnipeg would take place.

With another full season on the road a possibility, Forney understood clubhouse chemistry was as important as ever, and wanted Hill to be a part of the team’s makeup.

“You want to try and get the best people you can in your clubhouse,” said Forney. “Sometimes you’re spending 24 hours or more together. You have to be able to get along. If you can’t get along with Logan, you may have to question yourself a little bit. He’s just a really good person and I love having him around.”

Now 28 years old, Hill got off to a slow start last year, but caught fire in June to help the Goldeyes jump into playoff contention. After playing nearly two full seasons for Winnipeg without ever setting foot in Manitoba, Hill and the Goldeyes finally returned home on August 3rd.

“We were all so excited to go to Winnipeg,” Hill said. “We had to tough it out a little longer. It was kind of a grind getting through that first part of the year (on the road). That first series in Winnipeg with such a good home crowd and winning those games, it really surpassed everything everybody told me. I can say it was worth the wait because maybe without some of that struggle, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I do. I just love being there and playing in Winnipeg.”

 

Logan Hill with his family (and Goldette), post-game, 2021
Photo Supplied by Logan Hill

 

Through all of the adversity in 2020 and 2021, Hill’s family was always there for support. His wife, Emily, and their newborn son, Walker, were at the ballpark every night, both in Jackson and Winnipeg.

“I really can’t thank the Goldeyes enough for taking care of my family and letting them come up,” said Hill. “Last year, there was a big stretch when I was struggling. Getting to see Walker after the games really put things in perspective that things aren’t so bad, and that I can keep going and get out of this.”

“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Hill added. “After 2020 when I got released, they encouraged me to keep playing. I’m very glad I did, because I found a home in Winnipeg where I really found my love of baseball again.”

 

If you can’t get along with Logan, you may have to question yourself a little bit.

 

Signed on for a third year in a Goldeyes’ uniform—and with the franchise primed for its first full season at home since 2019—Hill will have a chance to renew that love for Winnipeg this May.

“I know we were only in Winnipeg for a month, but our time there was so incredible for the whole team,” said Hill. “It almost felt like its own season. I really can’t put into words how much fun it was to finally have a home field and be playing in front of our own home fans.”

 

Listen to a full interview with Logan Hill from the Feb 21 edition of The Inside Pitch:

Closed captioning available on YouTube

 

 

Submit