Courtesy Bridgeport Bluefish
BRIDGEPORT – While the first half of the season may be a lost cause, the Bridgeport Bluefish started gearing up for the second half of the 2012 campaign by announcing that they have signed former major leaguer Shea Hillenbrand.
The Bluefish have signed former Red Sox slugger Shea Hillenbrand for a second half run.
The slugging first baseman-designated hitter, who was originally signed the Red Sox in 1996, has played with six major league teams: the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Giants, Angles and Dodgers. Over the course of seven big-league seasons, the Mesa, Ariz. native batted .284 and banged out 108 homers to go along with 490 RBIs, 463 runs scored and 202 doubles.
In addition to his heady statistics, Hillenbrand’s career has become fodder for trivia fans: In 2003, he was traded by the Red Sox to the D-Backs for Byung-Hyun Kim, the submarine-throwing Korean reliever who will live forevermore in Yankee folklore as the person who blew saves in Games 4 and 5 in the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium—which was being played in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. In those two games, he gave up dramatic home runs to Tino Martinez, Derek Jeter and Scott Brosius. In doing so, he played a key role in lifting the spirits of a city that was reeling from the psychological trauma suffered when the World Trade Center was attacked and destroyed.
Hillenbrand’s best season came in 2002 with the Red Sox, when he hit .293, crushed 18 homers, drove in 83 runs, and established career highs in runs scored (94) and doubles (43).
“Shea brings a tremendous amount of experience to the ballclub both on and off the field,” said Bluefish manager Willie Upshaw. “He’s a true big-league hitter that will provide a positive impact on our lineup going forward.”
In order to make room for Hillenbrand, the Bluefish placed pitcher Rommie Lewis on the inactive list. The Bluefish, currently in last place in the Atlantic League’s Liberty Division—but trail fourth-place Southern Maryland by just one game. They are currently in Sugar Land, Tex., where they will wrap up the first half of the Atlantic League season with a four-game weekend set against the Skeeters. And even though the Long Island Ducks have already won the first-half Liberty Division championship, these games are not entirely meaningless, as total season records could conceivably come into play in determining playoff slots. Bluefish fans can listen to tonight’s game—first pitch is slated for 8:05 p.m.—as well as all Bluefish games, home and away, by clicking HERE.
After the All-Star Break, Bridgeport returns home to The Ballpark at Harbor Yard on Fri., July 13, when the ’Fish will entertain the Ducks. Tickets are available by visiting the Harbor Yard box office, by calling (203) 345-4800, or by visiting www.bridgeportbluefish.com.