Ceremony Set For May 8
ARLINGTON, Texas – The UT Arlington baseball program will retire former Maverick and current Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman’s #1 jersey number prior to the first pitch of UT Arlington’s Saturday, May 8, game against Stephen F. Austin at 2 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Hillman’s (1982-85) #1 jersey will join former head coach Butch McBroom (#30) and the late former player, assistant coach and head coach Clay Gould (#8) as the only jersey numbers retired in UT Arlington baseball history.
Hillman, the only three-time All-Southland Conference selection in UTA history, will be in attendance for the ceremony as the Kansas City Royals are schedule to take on the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington May 6-9.
“It is a great honor, especially to join the only other two people who have had their numbers retired,” Hillman said. “I have great memories playing at UTA and Arlington will always be my hometown. I’m looking forward to coming back and being able to share that day with everyone at UT Arlington.”
Just 16 months ago, Hillman returned to his alma mater when he was named a Distinguished Alumni at the 43rd Annual UT Arlington Distinguished Alumni Gala. After a four-year career with the Mavericks, Hillman signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians. Hillman later returned to UT Arlington where he earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sport studies in 1991.
One of the top players in UT Arlington history, Hillman became the first Maverick baseball player inducted into the UT Arlington Athletic Hall of Honor in 1992. Hillman’s .442 batting average in 1985 – which led the Southland Conference – remains the top single-season batting average in UTA history and is the second best average in Southland Conference history.
After completing his professional playing career in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system in 1987, Hillman spent one season scouting with the Indians before becoming the youngest minor league manager at that time with the New York Yankees Class-A club in the Carolina League. He then spent 12 years managing in the Yankees minor league system from 1990-2001.
After one season as the director of player development with the Texas Rangers, Hillman accepted a managerial position with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan. During five seasons in Japan, the Nippon-Ham Fighters made three playoff appearances (2004, 2006, 2007), which includes winning the 2006 Japan Series championship and the 2006 Asian Championship. It was the first title for the Nippon-Ham Fighters franchise since 1962.
Hillman became the 15th manager in the history of the Royals on Oct. 19, 2007, and has followed by leading the Royals to 140 wins in two seasons, which is the most wins during the first two seasons by a Royals manager since Bob Boone won 145 games in 1995-96.
Two other familiar faces to the UTA program will be on hand with Hillman as his third base coach, Dave Owen (1977-79), and bullpen coach, Steve Foster (1987-88), will also return to UT Arlington for the ceremony.
Owen became the first former Maverick to make it to the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1983 and Foster pitched three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds from 1991-1993. Owen will start his third season on the Royals coaching staff this year while Foster is joining the Royals after spending the past three seasons as the bullpen coach for the Florida Marlins.