Koyie Hill, a catcher from Lawton Eisenhower, has played with nine major league organizations. Hill has played in parts of nine major league seasons despite suffering a severe hand injury in a table saw accident seven years ago.
In 872 career at bats with the Dodgers, Cubs and Diamondbacks, Hill hit .210 with eight home runs and 76 RBIs. He's a career .273 hitter in the minors.
Hill, 34, played at Wichita State and has lived in the offseason in Wichita with his wife and family his entire pro baseball career. He's now with the New Orleans Zephyrs, Miami's Triple-A team.
What are the challenges of playing for nine different organizations?
It's not ideal but it's fortunate that many clubs want you. You take some pride that clubs think you can help their big league club. You do what you have to do. I feel fortunate to still be playing at a high level. I'm enjoying it, having fun.
What are your favorite major league memories?
I got a double on my first major league at bat. I'll never forget that. Playing at Wrigley for as long as I did was a ton of fun.
Does it feel like old home week every time you play in Oklahoma City?
All my family is gone from Lawton but they now live in the Tulsa area. They come here when I'm playing in Oklahoma City. It's always a treat to come back to Oklahoma City. Plus, it's the closest for my family to come from Wichita. During the off day I went back home to Wichita.
Were you concerned your career might end after the saw table incident in 2007?
Sure, at first there was a little doubt at what level I could play. I respected the level of play. I knew what it took. I'm a catcher and my right hand, the one I throw with, was mangled up. I knew I'd have to throw guys out (trying to steal) at the major league level, plus using that hand on the bat. There was a little wait-and-see. But I had no doubts whether I would come back. To get back to the big leagues in less than a year was a goal. I was fortunate. My best years in the big leagues were after that. I guess it was a lot of want-to and good things going right.
Do you take pride playing a demanding position this many years?
It's definitely more challenging than standing in the outfield. You get your fair share of foul tips. I've had minor bumps and bruises. But I've been fortunate. All I had to speak of is I suffered a broken ankle in a home-plate collision with Ty Wigginton in 2004 when I was with Arizona.
How much longer do you plan to play?
As long as they'll let me. It's not like I'm just hanging out. Injuries happen all the time. Needs change all the time. Right now I'm healthy and having fun. But we were playing against a kid the other day born in '93 (Round Rock shortstop Jurickson Profar), which makes you feel your age a little.