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

(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.

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, on Saturday September 29, 2007. Clobbering second-placed Lotte 9-1, the Fighters won the Pacific League...
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)
Nippon Ham Fighters' manager Trey Hillman is tossed up in the air by his team players after defeating the Chiba Lotte Marines 6-2, to win the Pacific League championship series in Sapporo in this Oct. 18, 2007 file photo. Hillman was hired Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, as manager of the...
Nippon Ham Fighters' manager Trey Hillman is tossed up in the air by his team players after defeating the Chiba Lotte Marines 6-2, to win the Pacific League championship series in Sapporo in this Oct....   (Associated Press)
Trey Hillman, the manager of the Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters, left, speaks as the team's owner Hiroji Okoso, center, and the team's president Junichi Fujii listen during a news conference after a Pacific League baseball game against the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome in Sapporo, northern Japan, Saturday,...
Trey Hillman, the manager of the Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters, left, speaks as the team's owner Hiroji Okoso, center, and the team's president Junichi Fujii listen during a news conference...   (Associated Press)
Trey Hillman, the manager of the Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters, speaks during a news conference after a Pacific League baseball game against the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome in Sapporo, northern Japan, in this Sept. 8, 2007 file photo. Hillman was hired Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, as manager...
Trey Hillman, the manager of the Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters, speaks during a news conference after a Pacific League baseball game against the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome in Sapporo, northern...   (Associated Press)
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