Monday, February 22, 2010
2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Bobby Hill
Who is this? Bobby Hill, a former infielder for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates
What is this? An autograph card from the 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection set
Where'd I get it? eBay
How much did it cost? 99 cents, plus $2.75 shipping.
Why is this so special? I'm guessing this was from a really expensive pack in 2003, since I don't think I've ever seen another card from this set and it is an actual on-card autograph. No stickers here.
Hill had three decent years as a utility infielder -- or at least they would have been considered decent years if he played in the 1970s. He never became the star that the Cubs believed he would be when they paid a $1.4 million signing bonus in 2000.
Before Hill signed with the Cubs, he played for the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League. In 132 games, he stole 81 bases. I wish I had gotten to see him play then.
Hill made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2002, hitting .253 in 190 at-bats. He spent most of 2003 in the minors and got traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Aramis Ramirez deal.
Hill spent two m0re seasons with the Pirates. His lifetime major league stats: .262 with 6 home runs and 58 RBI in 249 games.
In 2008, Hill returned to the Newark Bears. He wasn't the base stealing threat that he was in his first go-round, but my friends who were following the Bears in 2000 said he was still the same guy. If he was bitter about what might have been, it didn't show. He was one of the friendliest and most outgoing guys on the team.
That's pretty special.
Hill's autograph is just "B_y Hi_ ", which is a little interesting. I would have thought it would go to "B_y H_" or B_y H_l" if he wanted to shorten it.