Instead of heading to the bereavement list like most players do following the death of a close one, the oldest pitcher in major-league baseball, Rich Hill, stood tall and proud on the mound as the starting pitcher Monday though the Boston Red Sox fell, 8-3, to the Minnesota Twins.
Rich Hill’s father, Lloyd Hill Sr., died Friday at the age of 94, but Hill still remained definite toward pitching Monday. Monday was Patriots Day, the day of the Boston Maraton, something that Lloyd ran 37 times.
“It’s going to be a long week,” Hill said somewhat emotionally. “It was a tough weekend. The job is to be a professional and show up no matter what circumstances there are outside of the clubhouse or outside of the lines. You show up and you’re a pro. That’s something that I learned from my dad.”
The southpaw took the blame for the loss.
“This is a game of results. That loss is on me,” Hill said. “We came up short because I didn’t set the tone right away and that’s difficult because I wanna go out there and do that as a starting pitcher and that’s my job. To go out there and put us in a better position to win next time is what I’m gonna work on.”
The 42-year-old, who’s in his third career stint with the Red Sox, made it two outs into the fifth inning allowing a pair of two-run blasts, but spirits of the left-hander remained high.
“It was mixed emotions, I think,” said Hill. “I definitely was focused in on competing and getting the job done. Unfortunately, came up short. I think I did everything I could to go out there and keep everything else, emotionally, in check. I think that’s one thing that, from the standpoint of watching my dad and growing up, with difficult times that he had, he always showed such great composure through difficult times.”
Lloyd, a native of Milton as Rich is, was a standout All-American captain at tackle for the Brown University football team before becoming a veteran in the Korean War, as well as a principal/coach at a high school in Quincy
“He had a great life and he taught me a lot of lessons — one of them is to show up and do your job even when things aren’t perfect on the outside.”
Manager Alex Cora says both he and his teammates were very impressed with Hill’s composure and him pitching despite the loss being so recent.
“He competed the way he has done his whole career,” Cora said. “For him to go out there and compete, that was good enough for us. He showed this team a lot, too. This is a guy we (respected) playing against him. Some of these guys played with him. But having him in the clubhouse with us is a different story.