LOWELL — Noah Hall insists he is not haunted by falling just short of reaching the major leagues.
“I really am not bitter about never making the majors,” said Hall. “There was a time I couldn’t deal with retiring and had to keep playing. But when I left I knew it was over.”
Hall played 16 seasons of minor league baseball, calling 19 different cities home over 1,543 games from the heights of triple-A to the depths of independent baseball and everywhere in between in pursuit of his dream of reaching the big time.
But after reaching the end of his playing career following the 2011 season, Hall is now pursuing his lifelong passion for coaching, in his first season as the hitting coach for the Lowell Spinners.
“It was a long road,” he said. “I had over 5,000 minor league at-bats. That’s a decent chunk to figure things out. I had great seasons and I had some pretty bad seasons. I feel like I can draw on those experiences and teach them. I feel like coaching is my calling. Maybe some day I will coach in the majors.”
Hall was a two-sport star at Aptos High School (Calif.), as an outfielder in baseball and a running back in football (1,282 rushing yards as a senior). But he elected to follow his first love of baseball when he was selected by the then-Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) in the 27th round of the 1995 draft.
After a solid first season in Vermont (.273 average, 45 RBIs), he broke out a season later when he hit .316 with 11 homers and 90 RBIs between two levels of single-A, earning him Expos Minor Leaguer of the Year honors. But the following season, at high single-A, he fell to just .236 with 49 RBIs.
“I think I went into that season a little too confident and I just stunk,” he said. “I also think I worked out the wrong way. I was humbled that season. But that is part of playing baseball. I feel that can be an experience I can use to teach.”