The Cubs called Hill up to the club yesterday as part of the September call ups, but the fact that Hill is still even playing baseball is a miracle. After all, not many people return to the game after cutting off three fingers and a thumb in a table saw accident.
It happened last October 16th when Koyie was making a window frame for his house. His table saw got stuck in the wood, and before Koyie knew what hit him, he was missing the thumb, pinky, ring, and middle finger from his right hand. He was then rushed to an emergency room where a hand specialist sewed the fingers back on, but was told by doctors he'd never play baseball again.
Little did the doctors know that they were creating the perfect "baseball hand."
"Catching is easy," Hill said. "Thank God it wasn't my left hand. They added enough bones to my middle finger to where it moves some. They had me hold a ball in my left hand to see where my finger was placed so when they sewed it back on it was fixed in a position. So you could say it was actually built for playing baseball now, which is something a baseball player always wanted.So how did Koyie do down in Triple-A this season? He hit .275 with 17 homers, 24 doubles and 64 RBI. Pretty impressive considering the circumstances, though not as impressive as something I did once. Back when I was 12 years old I once laced a double into the gap even though I had a really bad papercut. On my knuckle.
"Now (the hand) is as good, or a little better. I've been lucky enough to even be able to play. To be back here is a dream come true within itself. I never had a doubt I would play again. I just didn't know what level and what limitations my hand (was) going to allow me to play.
"Like I said, I just lucked out. It's been a group effort. The Cubs have been behind me the whole time. I remember talking to (general manager Jim Hendry) about three or four days after the accident. We were talking about whether to the leave fingers on or off so I could come back faster. And he's been behind me the whole time.
"The organization kept me in the lineup down there. The first couple of months, when it was 30 degrees, I felt like I had frozen carrots for fingers. It didn't feel good to hold a bat, let alone swing it. To make contact was even worse. It was probably a blessing I wasn't making much of it."
Oh the pain I felt that day, but I sucked it up. Somebody had to be there for the team, and we only lost that game by six because of it. Am I a hero? Why yes, yes I am.