San Diego Padres pitcher Tim Hill’s story is nothing short of a miracle. Looking at him now, you might think Tim sailed through his entire life the same way: a cool, calm, community leader cruising through neighborhoods on his bike, saying hello to everyone. Most people don’t know that Tim had to battle to stay in the Major Leagues due to extraordinary circumstances.
During Spring Training in 2015, Tim was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent eight months of chemotherapy before being cleared the following year. Tim joined the Padres in 2020 and has taken advantage of his “second chance” to make a difference in others’ lives in San Diego. Tim’s commitment to community outreach and charitable endeavors is remarkable. He has been an advocate within San Diego on and off the field by participating in local charity events, visiting hospitals and mentoring young baseball enthusiasts. Tim has demonstrated consistently his genuine desire to make a difference.
Tim has had the biggest impact within the Padres “LIVE” pillar, which aims to support health and wellness, working closely with groups such as Rady Children’s Hospital. A group of teens battling cancer from Rady Children’s Hospital visited Arizona during Spring Training, and Tim was the first to run out and greet the group. He shared his personal story and connected with them by inspiring them to see that anything is possible. After a long day on the field, Tim still found the energy to meet the group on a planned arcade trip and helped them to forget about their current situation and just be kids again.
Tim has also been a frequent attendee of the Rady Children’s Hospital Celebration of Champions event, where pediatric cancer patients, along with family members, perform an Olympic-style relay, passing the “Torch of Life” from one to another, symbolizing their spirit and determination to fight their life-threatening diseases. 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.
You can catch Tim donating blood at the Padres Annual Blood Drive and interacting with Make-A-Wish kids who come out monthly to enjoy a day at the ballpark. Tim believes strongly in making time for each event or interaction, going above and beyond every day.
Tim has signed up consistently to volunteer for events as early as 9 a.m., even after a late-night game. Tim understands his influence on young fans as an athlete and takes it upon himself to inspire. He engages actively with youth through baseball clinics, imparting his knowledge, skills and dedication to aspiring athletes. During the Mexico series, the San Diego Padres held a clinic with 250 kids from Liga Olmeca and YMCA Mexico, in which Tim was the first to sign up and rally several of 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. Tim plays an essential role in shaping the next generation of leaders.
Two of Tim’s most admirable qualities are his humility and unwavering integrity. Despite his achievements on the field, Tim remains grounded and approachable, always making time for fans and displaying respect for the game, his teammates and opponents. “Tim is sincere; he will stop what he is doing to ask you what your name is and genuinely listen to you,” said a fan who has met Tim a handful of times. Tim believes that every event is bigger than baseball or himself and that showing up to show you truly care can make all the difference to a fan. His exemplary conduct on and off the field serves as a shining example for aspiring athletes and reinforces the values that the Roberto Clemente Award embodies.
Tim’s exceptional dedication to community service, impact on youth, advocacy for health, community support and unwavering humility make him a deserving nominee. His actions embody Roberto Clemente's legacy and inspire others to use their platforms to make a positive difference in society and to keep fighting to reach their greatest potential no matter the obstacle.