Bill Hall is coming off a breakthrough 2005 season. He set career highs in many categories including batting average (.291), home runs (17) and RBIs (62) while playing three different infield positions. Hall discussed his role on the team in 2006.
obsessedwithbrewcrew: Bill, congrats on a solid 2005 season. I was wondering if you would consider playing center field in the event that one of the Brewers starting outfielders were traded or injured?
Bill Hall: I don't have any problems going in to the outfield. With that said, I would welcome the opportunity to have playing time wherever that may be. One question that I have been asked is about Corey Koskie. Like last year, I am confident that I will get the chance to play and produce wherever that may be on the field.
Shaun_Miley: Congrats on personal and team accomplishments last year. It's exciting to watch Brewers baseball again. What is your opinion with the new "Retro Sundays" uniforms? I think it will be great.
Hall: So do I. It's going to be a great atmosphere every time we step out on the field at home on Sundays. Those teams in the 80s brought a great deal of excitement to Milwaukee. We look forward to doing the same thing in 2006.
engbjm: Who were your sports heros while you were growing up? Do you see yourself as a role model?
Hall: My favorite athlete of all time is Muhammad Ali. My favorite baseball player of all time is Ozzie Smith. I watched a lot of Ken Griffey Jr. growing up. I love how he plays the game. He is like a kid. He goes all out all the time. I do consider myself a role model. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you make a kid happy with an autograph or impact his life by setting a good example.
Base_Ball_3: What is you favorite thing to do, non-baseball related?
Hall: This offseason I did a lot of golfing. I played about four days a week after I did my weight lifting. Every offseason, I take up a new hobby. Who knows what it will be next year?
sheetsgrossbushfan: Do you have a nickname?
Hall: "The Cooler." It's from a movie about a guy who plays all the wrong cards in blackjack. Some of the veterans gave me that name. But actually, I am pretty good at the game.
Base_Ball_2: Do you feel like your offensive numbers would be better if you were an everyday starter at one position?
Hall: I don't think that where I am playing defensively affects my numbers. Earlier in my career, I struggled a bit. It was more because I wasn't playing regularly. You never stop learning in this game. The more you play, the more you learn.
Shaun_Miley: What is with Derrick Turnbow's mop? I suppose it worked for him last year, so we will be seeing it again in '06?
Hall: Yes. I saw him a lot this offseason. He is actually growing it out even more. Now Matt Wise is talking about doing it and I am sure Dan Kolb will do something, maybe with his beard and his hair, too. Those guys at the end of the bullpen are going to be looking pretty scruffy.
hazer75: What is your favorite moment in your MLB career?
Hall: My favorite moment was the very first time I was told that I was going up to the Major Leagues. My first hit was a home run at Wrigley Field. So it is hard to top those two. I am sure that there are a lot more great things to come and hopefully we can top it off with a run to the World Series somewhere down the road.
schlitz001: What do you think of the new infield coaches Robin Yount and Dale Sveum?
Hall: I think they are good additions. I know how popular Robin is in Milwaukee and getting him back on the field will be a great thing for the fans. I know Dale is popular too, and I look forward to working with them. I am actually headed to Robin's later today to take some ground balls with J.J. Hardy.
schlitz001: When the Brewers win the World Series in 2008, are you going to wear the ring on your right or left hand?
Hall: Why are we waiting until 2008? I think 2006 would be an even better time. But maybe we will get a pair of them. When we do win it, the ring will go on my right hand ring finger.
sheetsgrossbushfan: What do you see yourself doing 20 years from now?
Hall: Hopefully, I am retired after a long career. I would like to be just half as popular as guys like Yount and Jim Gantner. It would be a great feeling to mean that much to the people in Milwaukee.
bgbrewers: What do you like best about Milwaukee?
Hall: I like the loyalty of the fans in Milwaukee. They never give up. Even a couple years ago when we were struggling, they knew there was a plan to get better. Last year we saw a little bit of what happens when we win. I can only imagine how exciting this city is going to be when we take it to the next level.
engbjm: Who do you think will be the biggest surprise for the Brewers this year? Will Kolb return to form? Will Prince make a run at NL Rookie of the Year?
Hall: I definitely think that Dan Kolb will return to form. Mike Maddux has the magic touch. Look at what he did with Dan the last time around, and with Turnbow last year. I also think Prince has a great chance for that honor. He's been around Major League Baseball all of his life and knows what it takes to be successful. We all have a great deal of confidence in him.
ryan_merryfield: I told some of my buddies I think you can be a 25-25 guy. What do you think your chances are of accomplishing that this year?
Hall: Last year my goal was 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. I came up just a little bit short. My goal this year is to get to the 25-25 level while still hitting a lot of doubles. I know I have the ability to do that. I just have to go out and get it done.
madisonian: Bill, thanks for taking the time from your winter break to talk to fans. Like most of us, I've watched you since you came up and wondered what has been the hardest thing to deal with in your transition from nervous rookie to aspiring All-Star?
Hall: The process of maturing is never easy. If you get too high this game will knock you down a level in a hurry. I now understand the importance of staying on an even keel.
zman413: Do you feel the Brewers have an excellent chance of winning the NL Central division this year?
Hall: Yes. For some teams, getting a year older is a negative. With as many young guys as we have, another year takes us to another level of maturity. When you combine the young guys we have, the veterans from last year and guys like Corey Koskie, and the other new players, we definitely have the talent to make this happen.
Hall: I have time for one final question.
jrbebad: Is Milwaukee the best place you have ever played and do you hope to finish your career here?
Hall: Yes, it's the best place I have ever played. The first time I played at Miller Park was in the Futures Game. I got a standing ovation and it sent chills down my spine. When you look at guys like Yount and Gantner, you realize how special it is that they played their entire careers in Milwaukee. I would love to be the next guy in line for that.
Hall: Thanks everyone. We had hundreds of questions and I wish I could have answered them all. We'll see you on April 3.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.