Jamar Hill: A Calm Style with a Laid Back Approach

While the quintessential image of the American dream, or at least of the American past time, is that of a young boy playing catch with his father somewhere in the Midwest, outfielder Jamar Hill's situation was slightly different. Raised in Alaska, Hill grew up next to a baseball field. Although no one in his family played the sport, when he was nine years old Jamar decided to try his hand and hasn't looked back since.

Jamar Hill first realized that he wanted his then hobby to become his career when he was fifteen. A kid in his area was drafted by the Cleveland Indians and, after watching the process, Jamar decided to give it a shot. He played shortstop in high school and worked hard to improve on his skills for college. While attending Santa Ana Junior College, Hill continued at shortstop until he was recruited and converted to outfield.

Possibly one of the fittest players on the Bombers' team, Hill runs, does yoga, and even boxes a bit. This combination of exercises is used throughout the year. In the off-season, Jamar does a lot of running, as well as going on hikes and backpacking. He takes a laid back approach, not to fitness but the actual skill training, and this year waited until January to even touch his bat. He says, "I try to relax a little bit because the season's so long and hectic." To deal with these pressures, Hill applies what he calls his ten-minute rule. As a player who's naturally tough on himself, Jamar allows ten minutes after any game to mull over what went wrong, what he could have done better, and why he didn't perform up to his expectations. After ten minutes, however, he pushes these thoughts from his mind and tries to concentrate on something more productive. Something preferably not baseball related.

Hill considers the constant traveling to be the hardest part of his job. "You're on the road and you've got to go one place, you've got to leave the night you play a game and then travel all day to get somewhere else, unexpected rain delays, things like that." When not traveling in this fashion, however, he finds going different places fun and enjoyable. To unwind and calm down, Jamar searches his soul and finds relief in … X-box! Hey, we've all got our hobbies. He favors Tony Hawk skateboarding and Bond games. Interestingly enough, Jamar says that he's never seen a Bond flick all the way through, only played the game.

Jamar's family keeps tabs on him through the Internet, checking up on a son now hundreds of miles from home. Given his note worthy career choice, Jamar says that his family's "pretty excited about it. They don't really know anything about it." Hill's mom has held the most influence in her son's life. Reflecting on what she's done for him. Jamar pauses and thoughtfully says, "She knew I'd do good at anything I focused on and I appreciated that." Her faith has already been justified, as her son has toiled long and hard to get to Columbia and, with any luck, to continue even farther. When considering other possibilities in the job market, Hill says that he doesn't know what he would do if he weren't in baseball. While he enjoys the outdoors, he's not sure if it would've worked out being a good full-time career.

Since last season, Jamar has worked the hardest on his hitting. His current batting average lies at .242 with 46 hits out of 190 at bats. Hill recognizes that the bat is not his strong suit and says that he's probably always had to work the most on his hitting. "I think everything else kind of takes care of itself." With only four errors in his 49 games, he seems to be on top of his defensive game. Coming from Alaska, Jamar admits that playing baseball for a career is a little odd. "It's actually strange because it's so cold where I grew up." Right now, it's good to be different.

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