Marc Hill – Our Interview with the Former Catcher [Click for More!]

Marc Hill

A 2023 interview with the former catcher

Marc Hill SF Giants picture


  • St. Louis Cardinals, 1973 - 1974; San Francisco Giants, 1975 - 1980; Seattle Mariners, 1980; Chicago White Sox, 1981 - 1986

Life and Career Through 1973

Marc Kevin Hill was born on February 18, 1952 in Elsberry, Missouri, which is a tiny town on the Mississippi river northwest of St. Louis. 

Marc had baseball in his blood - his Dad played in the minor leagues for the St. Louis Browns. 

Hill grew up in Missouri and was naturally athletic, excelling in basketball as well as baseball. 

Yet the diamond was where his talents really stood out. 

After graduating in 1970 from Elsberry High School, Hill was selected by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals in the 10th round of the draft. 

Hill began his professional career right away in 1970 with the rookie-level Gulf Coast Cardinals, playing in 28 games that year.

He moved up to the single-A Cedar Rapids Cardinals in 1971, and he spent time with both the St. Petersburg Cardinals and Modesto Reds in 1972. 

Hill was promoted in 1973, playing in 122 games with the double-A Arkansas Travelers and then the triple-A Tulsa Oilers that season. At the end of the season, he got the call to the big leagues. 

Marc Hill and Keith Hernandez
Hill early in his career alongside a young Keith Hernandez

Hill’s Big League Debut

Hill made his major league debut during a night game on September 28, 1973 at his hometown Busch Stadium in St. Louis. 

He was in the starting lineup for Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst that day, batting seventh and catching in front of 10,377 fans.

The Cards went on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3 to 0. Hill went 0 for 3 during the game, and during his first at bat he hit a grounder to third resulting in a double play. 

As it was near the end of the season, Hill wouldn’t appear in any other games that year.

Catching in the Majors

The bulk of the 1974 season for Marc Hill was spent with the Tulsa Oilers. He did make it back to the Cardinals that season, where he played in ten games and his first big league hit.

Early in the 1974 off-season, Hill was dealt to the San Francisco Giants for Ken Rudolph and Elias Sosa.

It was a good opportunity for Hill, and he immediately saw more time behind the plate with the Giants. 

Marc Hill arguing with umpire in 1977 at Candlestick Park
Hill arguing with the ump during a 1977 game at Candlestick Park

Over the next five MLB seasons Hill would play in 50 or more games each year. In fact, he was the primary starting catcher for the Giants in 1977 and 1978.

Hill's best season was arguably 1977, when he hit .250 with 80 hits, as well as a career high nine home runs and 50 RBIs.

In June of 1980, however, Hill was shipped off to the Seattle Mariners. He appeared in 29 games for the 1980 Mariners, and after the season he was granted free agency.

Hill next signed with the Chicago White Sox in early 1981, where he would spend the rest of his career. During this time he primarily served as the backup catcher to future Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk.

Hill appeared in an average of 44 games per season for the White Sox between 1981 and 1986. 

After the 1986 season ended, Hill was released by the Sox. He decided to retire after that.

Marc Hill with the Chicago White Sox
Playing behind the plate during his tenure in Chicago (source: Getty Images)

Career Highlights and Post-Playing Years 

Across his 14 years in the big leagues, Hill batted .223/.295/.317 with 404 hits, 34 home runs and 198 RBIs. 

He caught 4,766.1 MLB innings, maintained a .990 fielding percentage and had a 35% caught stealing percentage, which was slightly above league average during this period. 

Hill had a reputation as being a good defensive catcher, and he spent a few seasons in the top five among league catchers in categories like caught stealing and fielding percentage.

Marc Hill and Steve Garvey
Hill catching with Steve Garvey at bat, during a 1978 game in San Francisco (source: Getty Images)

After he retired as a player, Hill began coaching. He was on the Houston Astros coaching staff in 1988, working alongside none other than legendary catcher (and then coach) Yogi Berra.

Hill also served as a coach on the 1991 New York Yankees squad. 

After the '91 season - and for the next few years thereafter - Hill served as a minor league manager for such teams as the Peninsula Pilots, the Jacksonville Suns, the Carolina Mudcats and the Lynchburg Hillcats.

After his coaching career, Hill lived back in eastern Missouri and spent much of his retirement enjoying the outdoors, doing things like fishing and hunting.

Q&A with Marc Hill

Marc “the Booter” Hill played as a catcher in the major leagues for 14 years, appearing behind the dish in approximately 687 MLB games.

He played on the same team with baseball legends like Willie McCovey, Tom Seaver and Carlton Fisk, and he coached among people like Yogi Berra, Frank Howard and Buck Showalter. In short, Hill has had a rich baseball career surrounded by some of the greats. 

Not long ago, I contacted Mr. Hill to learn more about him and his career. He kindly signed my 1980 Topps and answered a few of my questions, which are shown below. 

1980 topps signed Marc Hill card

Here’s a transcript of those questions and answers with Marc Hill:

Question 1. I'm interested to learn about your favorite memory from your playing career. Will you please tell me about that?

Answer: My first game, 1973. Caught 2 - 0 shutout against the Phillys (sic) in STL.

Question 2. In your opinion, who was the best pitcher you had the opportunity to catch? Why were they the best?

Answer: Tom Seaver. HOF great friend, he was smart.

Question 3. I’m also interested to learn more about your life after the majors. After your time as a player ended, what did you do next in your career?

Answer: Wood work, fishing, helping my school buddy with their farming corn, beans on there (sic) land. Hunting.

Marc Hill interview Q&A

That's A Wrap!

I hope you enjoyed this article and learning more about Marc Hill and his baseball career. It’s a personal favorite of ours to write these short biographies and to hear back from former MLB catchers!

If you have any feedback for us on this article or on anything related to catching, please get in contact us.

Thanks for dropping by Catchers Home.

Scott Perry is the owner and lead author at Catchers Home. He's a former baseball player, a current coach, a husband and a Dad. He remains as passionate about baseball today as he was as a kid.