Red Sox Memories: What happened to these four former players?
By Rick McNair
Quite by accident, I was channel surfing a few years ago and quickly a show called House Hunters International caught my attention with the name Three-Run Homer and Shea Hillenbrand. Was this the former Red Sox? Most certainly was. Seems the focus on the show was Hillebrand’s vacation home in Puerto Penasco with his third wife. Three wives!
The right-hand hitting Hillenbrand made his Red Sox début in 2001 hitting .263. In 2002, Hillenbrand made the All-Star team and hit .292 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI playing almost exclusively at third base both season. The following season the Red Sox looking for an OBP upgrade signed Bill Mueller and in May shipped Hillenbrand to Arizona for Byung-Hyun Kim.
Hillenbrand had issues with management at nearly every destination after leaving Boston. Brush fires with the Blue Jays and later the Angels certainly affected his career and tarnished his reputation among baseball management, but Hillenbrand did produce at almost every stop.
After the 2007 season with the Dodgers, Hillenbrand once again was on the open market and remained unsigned but not done. Hillenbrand played the 2008 season, or part of it, with the York team in the independent Atlantic League and then called it quits – at least temporarily.
Hillenbrand came back I 2012 with another Indy team, the Bridgeport Bluefish, hitting a paltry .194 before ending his professional career. Hillenbrand on the personal side had started a non-profit to rescue abused animals but that site was foreclosed and the charity ceased to exist. For greater detail, here is Steve Scolloway’s somewhat dated article on Hillenbrand.