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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hilly Hathaway, Good One - 3311

Bill Ostermeyer hadn't played long as a professional by September 1990, but he knew a good pitcher when he saw one. He saw a good pitcher in Boise's Hilly Hathaway.

Hathaway struck out 17 Spokane batters and gave up four hits for the playoff win, according to The Spokane Spokesman-Review.

"That's one of the best pitching performances I've ever seen in my life," Ostermeyer told The Spokesman-Review. "I've seen some good ones, but I think that one took the cake."

While Ostermeyer never made the majors, the pitcher he saw that night did. Hathaway saw the majors in parts of two seasons, picking up four major league wins in 13 total major league outings.

Hathaway's career began in 1989, taken by the Angels in the 35th round of the draft out of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Hathaway's given name is Hillary Hathaway, but he went by Hilly.

Hathaway started with the Angels in 1990 at Boise. He went 8-2, with a 1.47 ERA on the year. He struck out 13 batters in a July game and 113 overall.

He then made single-A Quad City for 1991. In 1992, he moved to high-A Palm Springs, AA Midland and major league California.

Hathaway debuted for the Angels that September. He got into two games, starting one. He gave up five earned in 5.2 innings.

He then returned to the Angels for another 11 outings, all starts, in 1993. He picked up his first major league victory in June. He told The Associated Press the first win a relief.

"The hitters are not that much different up here, until you get behind," Hathaway told The AP. "When you get behind and make a mistake, they hit it a lot harder up here."

But what about his name? Hillary? He answered that question for The Los Angeles Times after his return that June. His father, also Hillary, gave him his name.

"It took me a long time for me to quit being mad at my father," Hathaway told The Times. "I mean, I was ragged on a lot, but after awhile you learn to live with it."

Hathaway finished that year with a 4-3 record and a 5.02 ERA. He moved to the Padres in a trade for 1994, but played the year at AAA Las Vegas. He then played one more year between Las Vegas and high-A Rancho Cucamonga, ending his career.
1990 Minor League Tally  
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,365
Made the Majors: 975-41.2%-X
Never Made Majors:1,390-58.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 407
10+ Seasons in the Minors:244


  1. I remember Hilly. I was at his major league debut. Too bad he didn't do much in the majors.

  2. I called a couple of Hilly's games as an umpire in 1990. He had an amazing change up and great control. I figure that he must have hurt his elbow or shoulder to fade away like that. As this article says, he was incredible.