Live Chat With Former MLB 1B/3B Shea Hillenbrand
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Tim Dierkes
9:53
Hi everyone!  Shea will be joining the chat in a few minutes!
Jorge78
9:53
Hi Shea!  Do most MLB players have nicknames?  Ever dealt or heard of a player who didn't like his nickname?  Thanks!
9:54
How do you feel about players linked to steroids getting into the Hall of Fame?  You played during that era, what was it like?  Was their rampant suspicion, jealousy or angst?  Thanks!
Shea Hillenbrand
9:54
Yes! Most MLB players have nicknames. You are around your teammates than you are your family. So it's similar nicknames in your household. I would always call Jason Veritek the nutty professor because he was always studying hitters all the time in the clubhouse.
paul
9:55
Shea, do you regret or defend your "sinking ship" comments?
Shea Hillenbrand
9:57
I do not regret writing "the ship's sinking and play for yourself" on the whiteboard in the clubhouse during a PLAYER ONLY meeting. It was a joke and I put it up there to lighten the mood of the team because Vernon wells was getting ready to rip one of our pitchers a new ass for calling him out in the newspaper.
10:00
With that being said, I was in a bad spot internally. I hated myself. Unfortunately, I attached my identity to the game and I struggle. I never owned who I was. This led to the demise of my career. Thank God I found what I was searching for then. Fulfillment. I'm excited for life!!
CYSJay
10:00
Who was the most supportive player you ever had the good fortune of sharing a clubhouse with?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:01
By far! Barry Bonds! Great guy and a great teacher/role model for me in the clubhouse. His passion and knowledge are second to none.
Adam
10:01
What's the hardest part about playing multiple positions at the highest level?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:04
I didn't have too much of a challenge playing multiple positions. I just wanted to HIT! Hitting was like a drug to me giving me a chance to escape the internal battles I was confronted with every single day. What I discovered is that the biggest battle I would ever fight wasn't between the lines. Under the lights. On ESPN. 40,000 fans. It was the internal battles with my identity.
Josh
10:04
Shea, thanks for doing this! How hard is it as a player to switch teams midseason, and acclimate to a new group of players, coaches, etc.
Shea Hillenbrand
10:09
The hardest thing I ever went through is when I was traded from Boston. I came up through the system and I was the first guy to go to the show from AA since the '70's. I bled Red Sox red. I was a blue nose player and I busted my ass every night for the Fenway Faithful. They were like family to me. When I was traded, I felt internal like I wasn't wanted. It ripped open an internal scab that stemmed from experiences when I was a kid. A very tough pill for me to swallow. I felt my career was over then. At least I didn't want to play anywhere else. Trading is the nature of the business and I didn't PERCEIVE it that way.
John
10:10
No question, just want to thank you for being the first player to give me an autograph when I went to my first spring training 21 years ago. Will never forget that.
Shea Hillenbrand
10:12
You just made my day! I always made a pact with myself that I ALWAYS smiled in every picture I took with fans because I didn't know what that fan was going through at their point in life. A fan might be one breath away from giving up and their experience and interaction with me could be the catalyst for them to not give up...
Eric the Red
10:12
You say you found fulfillment post career. What's that look like for you?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:21
Here I am on top of the world. 2-Time MLB All-Star 10's of millions of dollars in the bank. I'm flying private jets, multiple mansions, 6 automobiles, 300 pairs of shoes lol. I have anything and everything I ever wanted but I don't know who I am, I don't own my life, and I don't have fulfillment. I'm filled with pain from my perspective at 14 years old. So I quit. Walked away to pursue my second childhood dream of owning a zoo. I purchased a $5mill horse farm and accumulate 300 farm and exotic animals. The joy I receive witnessing my animals transform thousands of children's lives in my community is PRICELESS. I'm bound to find fulfillment now but I don't. I find myself on the floor of a van motionless. Parked outside my ex-wife's house with my three precious children inside. After overdosing on drugs and alcohol, here lies someone so many envies. As the soul is leaving the top of my head and I'm clinging onto my last breath...Thoughts going through my mind are...You're a loser...You're a failure...
10:24
What kind of dad would do this to his kids? My answer....I don't know. I'm nothing without baseball. The game became my name. My identity. So I let go...Don't know if I died or fell asleep. By the grace of God I woke up the next day and I made a commitment to myself to design a new life. Outside of MLB player... I refer to it as the All-Star Life. I use my experiences on top of the world, losing everything. Being ONE BREATH AWAY from losing my life to being back on top again. I'm so happy. I'm fulfilled and I'm HUNGRY to use my voice to impact and add value to as many people in the world as I can!! I'm grateful and blessed to be here.
Guest
10:25
Who was your vet when you were a rookie in Boston?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:26
Carl Everett took me under his wing and bought me two suits worth $15k. lol He was an awesome guy. Not what the media portrayed
Guest
10:26
Did you feel you could still play longer when you chose to retire after 2007? If you still physically could play at that point, how many years could you have played?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:29
I left the game at 32. I knew I could play until I was 40. Problem was, I woke up every day and the first word out of my mouth was the F word. I hated myself. I attached that hate to the game. So I ran as far away as I could in efforts to escape. That didn't work though.
SMBR80
10:30
Did you enjoy your time with the San Francisco Giants?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:32
I loved playing in San Fran. I hit in front of Barry and he taught me more about hitting in 3 months than I learned my whole career. Growing up in LA, I was a die-hard Dodgers fan. So dawning a Giant's uniform was funny at first. Great city. Great fans. I had a great experience there.
Peter B
10:32
MVHS represent! Go Toros
Shea Hillenbrand
10:33
What up!!! Love MVHS!! I graduated in '93 as the #1 soccer player in AZ. LOL
Herman
10:34
How did you reach your decision to call it a career?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:37
I hated myself. The pain from the perspective I formed from experiences in my adolescence made me numb to everything and everyone around me. The pivotal point was when I was flying in a private jet to the '05 All-Star game. getting ready to play in front of millions of people in the MIDSUMMER CLASSIC. I'm looking out the wind and the thoughts going through my mind are, "Is this all it is? This is nothing like what I thought it was going to be." The Pain
Guest
10:38
Any regrets about calling Theo Epstein a f**?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:40
You can't live your life with regrets but there are definitely things that I shouldn't have said. I didn't own who I was and that's unfortunate. Because I had a huge platform and I used that platform to stroke my ego because I was empty inside.
Justin
10:40
You were on the field for Randy Johnson’s perfect game in May 2004.
Shea Hillenbrand
10:44
The first hitter of the game bunted to me at first. It was a routine play and I went to flip it to Randy as he should have been covering first. I looked up and he was still on the mound. I quickly ran to first and tagged the runner out. After that, it was smooth sailing from there. Later in the game, I did have thought of, "Don't hit it to me". lol Actually, the only hitter we were concerned about was Mike Hampton. He could rake as a pitcher.
Louis
10:44
If you met John Gibbons now, what would the conversation be like?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:48
I would apologize to Gibby for disrupting the chemistry of the team. Gibby is a great guy. I was 100% wrong for the actions I took. I was acting out of hurt, resentment, and pain. I could hit the hell out of the baseball but I couldn't control my internal world. I 100% own my crap. The stuff that I did, and how I treated people. UNACCEPTABLE...
I was a D*CK.
StL fan
10:49
When people with social status speak about their struggles, it adds a layer of humanity to the topic of mental health.  A realness, I think.  I just lost my cousin, an Active Duty service member to suicide.  Although I don’t expect you to share this, I hope you see it.  Thank you for being open.  Thank you for sharing your truth.  You never know who you may impact or how when you share a very relatable story like that.  Thank you Shea.
Shea Hillenbrand
10:52
Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry about your cousin. I didn't use to share it.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, and tried to prove to everyone that I wasn't that guy. When I made the commitment to own who I am it gave me a power that brought me to where I am now.
Prison Mike
10:53
Who’s the funniest teammate you played with?
Shea Hillenbrand
10:53
Carlos Baerga. He is the most hilarious guy I ever met. He could hit the heck out of the baseball too.
Adam’s Apple
10:54
Shea, thank you for sharing your struggles with us, that is really powerful to hear. I’m not fulfilled either, 32 right now, and it is encouraging to hear there is still time and opportunity for me to grow and find my place. Thank you, brother!
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