When the San Diego Padres nominated relief pitcher Tim Hill for the Roberto Clemente Award, Palomar College Baseball Coach took a moment to reflect on what the nomination meant. Hill, who played for Palomar College in 2010, was nominated for the award to recognize his commitment to community outreach and charitable endeavors. Each Major League Baseball team nominates one player for the award, which will be announced later.
“It’s an amazing award to be nominated for. It’s not for player of the year, it’s for man of the year,” Adams said. “It says a lot about the Palomar College program and the school environment. Tim is a great representative of what we hope to emanate.”
Hill has been sidelined since July with a finger issue in his pitching hand. He attended Palomar College before transferring to Bacone College in Oklahoma, where he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 draft. During spring training in 2015, Hill was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent eight months of chemotherapy before he was cleared to play. He joined the major leagues in 2018 and was traded to the Padres in 2020.
Hill’s own experience with colon cancer has given him a special interest in young cancer patients, leading to his close involvement with Rady’s Children’s Hospital. “He has taken advantage of his ‘second chance’ to make a difference in others’ lives in San Diego,” the Padres said in their nomination.
The Padres said Hill is a frequent attendee at the Rady Children’s Hospital Celebration of Champions event, where pediatric cancer patients and family members perform an Olympic-style event passing the “torch of life” from one to another symbolizing their determination to fight their disease.
“No matter how many kids attend, Tim straps his shoes on and never stops running while getting to know each individual child, cheering them on every step of the way,” the Padres said.
When a group of teens from Rady’s visited the Padres during spring training in Arizona, “Tim was the first to run out and greet the group,” the Padres said in their nomination. “He shared his personal story and connected with them by inspiring them to see that anything is possible.” After a day on the field, Hill joined the group on a planned trip to a video arcade.
Hill also regularly donates blood at the Padres’ annual blood drive and interacts with Make a Wish kids who visit the ballpark, the team said.
When the Padres played in Mexico, Hill held a baseball clinic with 250 youngsters from Liga Olmeca and YMCA Mexico and encouraged his teammates to join him.
“Tim encourages youth to pursue their dreams, teaching them values and hard work and instilling a sense of community service,” the Padres wrote. “Tim plays an essential role in shaping the next generation of leaders.”