PHILADELPHIA -- Reliever Rich Hill spent his first four big league seasons from 2005-08 with the Cubs, under the wing of Kerry Wood, who retired Friday.
Wood, 34, and one of the game's great strikeout pitchers, spent the vast majority of his career in Chicago.
"For me as a younger guy over there in Chicago, he was always great to me," Hill said in the visitor's clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, where the Sox opened a three-game series with the Phillies, a few minutes before Wood's final Major League appearance in a game against the White Sox at Wrigley Field. "I remember in Spring Training in '08, I was struggling and he was just telling me 'To keep your head up and all that type of stuff, but really, everybody else's opinion doesn't really matter. The only thing that matters is how you go about your business on a daily basis.' I remember him telling me everybody's going to have an opinion, but the one that matters the most is the guys in the locker room and your family. Kind of like when you're struggling, reaffirming that was everybody behind me."
Hill just came back to the big leagues after Tommy John surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, the same surgeon who performed Wood's operation.
"After I had my injury last year, he was the first guy that I called, because I knew that he had dealt with the same thing," Hill said. "And I would just ask him about Andrews, about what he thought about going to see doctor Andrews and all that. It was really, really positive about going to see him.
"He's done so many great things in Chicago and the people love him there. He's had a long career."
Things are going well for Hill, who is 0-0 with one run allowed in eight innings. He has not given up a run since his first appearance back following the operation.