Swedish shortstop Max Hill gets set for his second season with Delta baseball

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Max Hill bats during practice. Photo by Matthew Millsap
Max Hill bats during practice. Photo by Matthew Millsap

Max Hill is a Delta College sophomore and has his eyes set on sports medicine. He’s planning to transfer to get his degree in kinesiology. Though he is working hard for his major, his passion is baseball.

What makes Hill different from the typical Delta College student, though, is that he hails from Stockholm, Sweden.

Hill plays shortstop for the Mustangs baseball team. He is one of a small number of athletes who have left their home state, or even country to join the nationally renowned team.

Hill was visiting California on a school trip of the Stockholm Baseball Academy when he was spotted for his talent and invited to join.

He grew up in Delarna, Sweden, a small rural town four hours north of the capital, Stockholm. Hill says growing up, he enjoyed hockey but always had an interest in baseball. “I was introduced to it through my dad, who actually grew up in Florida. He’s the one who got me interested,” said Hill.

Baseball has always been the quintessential American pastime and is sparsely played outside of the U.S. 

“It’s an obscure sport in Sweden,” said Hill. “I went to a sports academy. We visited America as a senior class trip. We toured American colleges to try out for their teams. Some of my friends have joined American colleges, too.” Three of his classmates have been accepted for Californian college teams, including College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.

When asked how his transition to American life has gone, Hill says it has been a little challenging at times, and he does miss his family, though he had gone back to Sweden to visit over the summer. “Traveling outside the world you know is very challenging, but I would recommend it to anyone. I have grown a lot because of this experience,” he said.” I think traveling grows character.”

Hill said he would love the opportunity to play professionally, though “of course I would love to play professionally. We all do. But baseball actually comes second to my major, which is kinesiology.”

Last season he played 12 games for the Mustangs, who won 39 games last season and made the state final four for the second year in a row.

When asked if he had any advice for those considering travel or try-outs of any kind, Hill says: “Take the shot!”