This is one of the more amazing comback stories I’ve ever heard.
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 9/1/2008 8:58 PM
There were nights this past spring, when the temperature dipped into the 30s, that Koyie Hill said his fingers felt like “frozen carrots.”
There were days, when he wasn’t hitting well, that Hill thought seriously about asking the Cubs if they had a coaching job for him somewhere.
But Hill is still playing, and Monday’s call-up from the minor leagues was gratifying on so many levels.
The 29-year-old Hill, a jourmeyman catcher, was making a wood window frame for his house last Oct. 16 when he suffered a horrific injury, one that nearly cost him four of the fingers on his right hand.
“I don’t talk about it much,” said Hill, the son of a master carpenter. “It’s just an accident with a table saw, something I’ve done a million times before. I was using a saw that’s really bad about grabbing, and grabbed, and there it went.”
There went Hill’s thumb, his pinkie finger, his ring finger and half of his middle finger. Although Hill said he didn’t have to pick any of his fingers up off the floor, he said some were hanging by small pieces of skin.
“This one, this one and half of this one,” he said, matter-of-factly, pointing at the mangled digits. “It cut my thumb off first, went through all the muscle in my thumb, and it went back this way and turned it and cut all four tendons and all four fingers and all four ligaments. They don’t move anymore.”
When it happened, Hill wasn’t thinking about baseball. He was thinking about saving his fingers and his hand.
Wow. Just go read the whole thing.
Koyie Hill had a nice call-up for a while with the big league club last year, and in his starts, the Cubs went 17-8. I grew to like the kid in that short timespan, since he seemed to understand the primary roles of the catcher: call a good game, and catch everything you can reach.
I never knew any of this had happened, because at Hill’s request, the team never released any news on it.