Nippon Ham Fighter Gets Royal Summons

Kansas City taps Japan league vet Hillman for manager's job
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2007 8:00 AM CDT
Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman is tossed in the air by his players after the Fighters clinched the Pacific League title in a game against the Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium, near Tokyo,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – You can go home again if you're Trey Hillman. The longtime minor league manager in the Yankees farm system, who spent the last five years managing Hokkaido's Nippon Ham-sponsored squad in Japan's Pacific League, will be introduced on Monday in Kansas City as the new manager of the Royals. 

“This is a wonderful blessing and a great opportunity to build a winner," Hillman tells the Kansas City Star. The 44-year-old, who has interviewed for major league jobs in the past in the States, had been considered a longshot candidate to replace Joe Torre because of his 11-year tenure in the minor leagues with the Yanks. He replaces Buddy Bell, who resigned last month.