- Sent: 8/24/17 | Received: 10/2/17 | 38 Days
- ’08 Upper Deck Goudey
- Address: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Story of the Autograph
Is there a team Rich Hill hasn’t pitched with? Well, yes, but not many. Rich came into the league with the Cubs in 2005, but since then has played with the Orioles, Red Sox (2x), Indians, Angels, Yankees, Athletics, and now with the Dodgers. The majority of those team he played with for a year (or less). Since this is a Cubs card, let’s focus on the years he spent with them.
In 2005 he started the season in the minors. His first in the majors was a spot start for Kerry Wood where he gave up 2 earned runs over 5 innings. While not notable on the mound, Hill did trip over third base on his way home while on the bases. All the runners had to stop and no one scored in the inning with the bases loaded. He finished the season 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA.
2006 was another season started in the minors. After coming up in May, he was sent back down again after a 7-0 loss to the White Sox. Back in the minors he was great again and went 7-1 in 15 starts, a 1.98 ERA and 135 strikeouts. He was an all-star in the PCL. Again he was called back up and lasted only 3 1/3 innings against the Cardinals and was still without a victory in the bigs. That came again the Diamondbacks in August of that year. He ended up pitching the only two complete games for the Cubs staff that year was 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA. Finally showing some glimpses of what he could be.
The 2007 season saw Hill start in the big leagues and in his first game against the Brewers he had a perfect game through 5 and finished with 1 hit over 7 innings. He was starting to become the ace of the staff and had an 18 inning streak with no earned runs. Then the control problems started cropping up again in his next few loses. He had an up-and-down season but ended up 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA over 32 starts with 183 strikeouts. At the end of the year he started a game in the 2007 NLDS, only lasting 3 innings and giving up a homer on the first pitch of the game. The Cubs were swept that series.
2008 would be his last with the Cubs. He had some command issues but ultimately kept his rotation spot. He still struggled with control though and went back to Triple-A in May. Back injuries limited him in the minors and he didn’t end the year well.
From there he moves around a lot in trades and minor league deals. Injuries and inconsistency plagued him until he had a few good starts in his second stint with Boston in 2015. He actually pitched for the Long Island Ducks at one point that year after getting a minor league invite with the Nationals. I’ll leave the story here, with the hope that I’ll have another reason to post more about rich with another signed card.
The Score on Rich Hill – 9.0
Has a pitchers autograph ever fit him more? I don’t think so. If I was going to explain the style of Rich’s signature I think I have to say it’s curvy. And given the number of curveballs Rich throws per outing, I’d say that works. There’s a lot of character in that signature.
This is by far one of my favorites for the year. I really wish I had a Dodgers card, but this Goudey card really takes an auto well. And even with the Cubs jersey that blue auto fits right in. He uses a pen that has the perfect thickness and the auto is really clean. There’s not even any trail marks on this at the end of any of the loops. He takes up some great space on the card and everything.
Thanks Mr. Hill, this one gets a 9!
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