Ben Hill has seen it all and done it all when it comes to the antics of minor league baseball. By the end of this season, he will also have visited all of minor league baseball’s ballparks over his career of covering the wild and wacky side of the sport for milb.com. The journey marks quite a milestone for Hill, who has become an expert on minor league promotions and ballpark entertainment since joining MiLB.com in 2005 and launching his popular Ben’s Biz Blog two years later.
In his “On the Road” columns, Hill provides a first-hand look at a team’s promotions and ballpark entertainment, often participating in a variety of on-field shenanigans and giving a dining guide to concession fare—the latter he has passed on to “Designated Eaters” since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012. His weekend “Promo Previews” have been a must-read for people in the industry and passionate fans.
What follows is my conversation with Hill about his path and experiences in minor league baseball. The transcript has been edited in places for length and clarity.
You certainly are not a traditional journalist. You have a beat that you cover, but your cover it almost from the inside. How would you describe what you do?
Sometimes I ask myself that: What exactly am I? In a way I still don’t know. My official title is writer at MiLB.com and it has been pretty much since I was part-time to start this in 2005. When I try to describe what I do in a fairly succinct way, what I tell everyone is that I cover the business and culture of minor league baseball for MiLB.com. That is about as simply as I can put it. I think that sums up the beat pretty well: business and culture. Continue reading