Quintana, Heep cards in Hill's collection
New Englander treasured cards of Red Sox heroes
Rich Hill, a Boston-area native who now pitches for the Cubs, spent quality time in his childhood in the Fenway Park bleachers and collecting baseball cards of his favorite players. In fact, he still adds to his collection, which is organized by team. Hill recently recalled his card-collecting heyday of the late-1980s and 1990s.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Which were the favorite Red Sox cards you collected?
Hill: Roger Clemens and Dwight Evans. I had Clemens' rookie card. I got some Evans cards from the 1970s. Ellis Burks -- I liked him a lot. Carlos Quintana, he was one of my favorites. I'd say 1986 to 1996 were the big years. Quintana wasn't a big name, but he was a mainstay with the Red Sox for a few years. I got Danny Heep's cards -- he was a crowd favorite. Jody Reed -- I liked him -- he was a fan favorite. Of course, Wade Boggs.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you have a left-hander you collected?
Hill: Not really. I collected Nolan Ryan. That was the big one. I just got [Ryan's 1966 rookie card] this offseason. I got it in a kind of trade. Everyone I talked to, I told I wanted the rookie card. I also have his second-year card -- pretty much every year with every team.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Where is the collection now?
Hill: It's at my parents' house. I think I have thousands. They're all in books, sorted by teams. The offseasons now are a good time to maintain those books. Now I've gone on to autographed baseballs and get guys to sign jerseys.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did you first appear on a card?
Hill: Little League -- that was cool. The first pro card I was on was at [Class A] Boise. That was pretty cool, too.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What do you like about your Major League cards?
Hill: My first big-league card was really awesome. I bought a box of Upper Deck cards. My wife [Caitlin] and I were looking through them, opening up every pack. We didn't find it until we looked in the last pack.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What's your favorite big-league pose?
Hill: Probably myself and [catcher] Geovany Soto after my complete game, [the Cubs' first of the season, in September] in 2006. I like the ones of my motion.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.