Watch CBS News

Red Sox Left-Hander Rich Hill To Pitch Monday With Memories Of Late Father Running Boston Marathon

BOSTON (CBS) -- For Red Sox left-hander and Milton native Rich Hill, the Boston Marathon has always had a special place in his heart. His father, Lloyd Hill Sr., ran the Marathon 37 times during his life.

With the Red Sox set to play another Marathon Monday game at Fenway Park, Rich will be thinking about his father, who passed away on Friday at the age of 94.

The 42-year-old southpaw, who is scheduled to start against the Minnesota Twins on Monday, spoke to WBZ-TV's Dan Roche about the memories he has of his father running the Marathon.

"I can't describe how kind he was towards everybody and the way he treated everyone. But also running 37 Boston Marathons was an amazing feat," Hill said. "We just found that out the other day. I always thought it was in the 20s and then I asked him. And he said, 'No, we started in 1958.'"

Hill said he remembers when his dad would cross the finish line.

"Seeing him at the finish line and grabbing the silver paper or blanket to keep you warm after he was done running the Boston Marathon. Or he would just sometimes take the train home, the Red Line, and come back to Milton," Hill said with a smile.

"So yeah, it was a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings around Marathon Monday and understanding how much of that meant to him on that day. And just the event, I know it's really special to Boston and the people here in Boston. It's very unique because it's a one-of-a-kind thing in the city and here for the state of Massachusetts. So it will be a special day."

As someone who grew up in Massachusetts, Hill said he can recall the significance of the day itself when he was a kid in school.

"Growing up, obviously in middle school or elementary school, we would always talk about it. 'Oh, you went to the game yesterday. That's awesome.' Or Opening Day and being able to skip school or come in and have those special moments. It's something that I appreciate a little bit more when you look back on it. I think that's something that I hope everybody does."

Hill's major league career began in 2005 with the Chicago Cubs, and along with the Red Sox, he has pitched for Baltimore, Cleveland, both Los Angeles teams, both New York teams, Oakland, Minnesota, and Tampa. He even started against Boston in Game 4 of the World Series when he was with the Dodgers.

But pitching for the Red Sox, a club he has now had three separate stints with, has added meaning since it was his dad's favorite team.

"He loved the Red Sox. He loved Ted Williams and Wade Boggs and a lot of the players that came through here and was fortunate enough to watch a lot of games. There's going to be a lot of emotion tomorrow, but at the same time, there's a job that has to be done. I know that the task at hand is extremely important. And for my dad, that's how he would appreciate and what he would want."

And while Rich hasn't run the Marathon yet, he hopes to do so in the future.

"I definitely have to do one. I have a friend, Mike Ferris, who continues to remind me that he ran two Marathons. So I have to at least get one in. One of these days I will run it, and it will be in honor of my dad and just be there for him and his memory and legacy."


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.