Drafted in the tenth round in 1996 by the Red Sox out of Mesa Community College, Shea Hillenbrand made his MLB debut for Boston in 2001 at the age of 25. In his sophomore season with the Red Sox, Hillenbrand hit .293/.330/.459 with 18 home runs and 83 RBI, starting for the AL All-Star team at third base. He finished 10th in the AL in hits in ’02 and sixth in doubles.
In May of ’03, Hillenbrand was traded to the Diamondbacks for reliever Byung-Hyun Kim. Not long after that, he hit three home runs in a game against the Rockies. Hillenbrand hit .310/.348/.464 with 15 home runs and 80 RBI the following year for the D’Backs, with his batting average ranking 13th in the NL.
Dealt to Toronto after the ’04 season, Hillenbrand hit .291/.343/.449 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI en route to his second All-Star nod. Hillenbrand managed to lead the AL by being hit by a pitch 22 times in ’05 as well. He’d go on to play with the Giants, Angels, and Dodgers.
Hillenbrand wound up with a fine .284 batting average over the course of his career. His 108 home runs included shots off Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Zack Greinke, and Jake Peavy.
Today, we were proud to host a live chat with Shea. Click here to read the transcript! Shea was honest and forthcoming and the chat is well worth reading. And be sure to check out his website, Your All-Star Life, here. Shea is also on Instagram @shea_hillenbrand.
If you’re a former or current MLB player and you’d like to do a one-hour chat on MLBTR, reach out to us through our contact form! It’s a fun and easy hour where you choose which questions to answer, and we’ve had great success with Chipper Jones, Paul Sewald, Chad Cordero, and many others.