Bridgewater, NJ – Infielder Billy Hall has been named #3 on the Patriots Top 15 list, a part of the team’s 15th Season Anniversary, designed to celebrate the best players in team history as voted on by fans, Patriots players and coaches, and team officials.
“Anytime you are named that high on a list with your peers, it is an honor. Especially with the number of guys that went through the Patriots organization, many of them with big league time,” said Hall. “You have to be thankful that the people that you played for and came to watch you day in and day out appreciated how you played the game.”
Hall was one of the greatest players in Atlantic League history and had the ability to change every game with his unmatched base-stealing prowess.
He joined the Patriots in 2000 and had an immediate impact on the team. Hall set a professional baseball record with 66 straight stolen bases before being caught on his way to a league record 104 stolen bases during that season.
“The biggest thing about that year was that I had messed up my ankle before coming to Somerset. It was the first off-season that I hadn’t worked out so I wasn’t in baseball shape. I wasn’t really hitting, so I knew I had to do something. I had to score runs and steal bases to be able to do what a leadoff hitter was supposed to do. I knew I had to get to third with less than two outs to help make the team’s offense work,” said Hall.
Hall returned to the team in 2001 and continued being the catalyst for Somerset, who would go on to win their first championship in team history. Hall finished with 72 stolen bases and set a league record that still stands today for 113 runs scored.
He was back in Somerset in 2002, but an injury cut his season short. However, his time with the Patriots led to his signing with the Miami Marlins, where he spent the next few seasons in their minor league system before returning to Somerset in 2005.
Hall once again proved invaluable on the 2005 championship team, finishing the year with a .295 average, 99 hits, and 62 stolen bases.
In his 15 seasons of baseball, Hall made the playoffs in 12 seasons. He won two championships in his time with the Patriots and was in the championship series three of his four seasons with the team.
“As a competitor, your ultimate goal is to win championships. To know that you are one of the last two gladiators standing in a winner takes all situation is a good feeling,” Hall added.
Hall remains the Atlantic League’s “Stolen Base King,” finishing with a career record 290. He finished his Patriots career with a .281 average, 353 runs, 469 hits, 67 doubles, 27 triples, 145 RBI in 409 games.
Throughout the 2012 season, the Patriots will be counting down the Top 15 players in team history and then highlight the chosen players on baseball card giveaways and a special lithograph during the year.