It comes from the 2008 set of Upper Deck's Masterpieces. The question, of course, is why? Why would anyone want a card from a guy that's had a very mediocre career?
Well, I was at Wrigley Field when he made his major league debut. It was June 15, 2005. Greg Maddux got pounded by the Marlins and Hill came into the game in the sixth inning and got pounded too. He gave up two runs on three doubles, but he also struck out two with that big curveball that we had been hearing about. But no, that's no why I needed this card.
Was it because I saw one of, if not the best game of his career? I was in Cincinnati in September, 2007 to see the Cubs clinch the division. A win on Friday, September 28 did that. Hill was on the mound the next night and took a no hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a double to Buck Coats. He just pitched six innings, as the game was his tune-up for the playoffs. By the way, Hill lasted only three innings in his only post-season start. But again, that's not why I needed this card.
Enough beating around the bush. Why would anyone need an autograph of Rich Hill? Only one reason: to complete a set. I put together the Masterpieces Cubs over a year ago. Since there weren't many base cards, I also went after the relics and the autographs.
Hill had an autograph card in the 2007 set and it is available by the bucket, super-easy to get. But the 2008 card was a completely different story. In a year and a half, I've seen it pop up on Ebay only twice. The first time the price went sky high and I passed on it. As much as I like to fill a hole, I'm not going to pay Hall of Famer prices for a Rich Hill autograph.