Bob Miller (1953–62 pitcher)

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Bob Miller
Pitcher
Born: (1935-07-15) July 15, 1935 (age 79)
Berwyn, Illinois
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 25, 1953 for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
September 18, 1962 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
Win-Loss 6-8
ERA 4.72
Strikeouts 75
Teams

Robert Gerald Miller (born July 15, 1935 at Berwyn, Illinois) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for three different teams during his major league career. During the 1953 season, he was the youngest player in the major leagues that season, one of only three players that year who were 17-years old.[1][2]

Miller had a 33-6 record in three seasons at Morton High School in Berwyn, including three no-hitters. In his final season in high school, Miller pitched two no-hitters and had 106 strikeouts in the nine games he pitched.[3]

Detroit Tigers (1953–56)[edit]

Miller was signed as a "bonus baby" amateur free agent by the hometown Detroit Tigers on June 20, 1953, receiving a $60,000 signing bonus from the team who outbid the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox to sign Miller. The other Tigers bonus baby signed that day was future-Hall of Famer Al Kaline, who received a bonus of $35,000 and had been pursued by every major league team other than the St. Louis Browns.[3] As required by the Bonus Rule as it existed when he was signed, the Tigers had to immediately place Miller on their 40-man roster and keep him there for two years.[4]

Miller made his major league debut on June 25, less than a week after being signed to the team. Taking the mound at age 17, he is the youngest Tiger hurler to start a game. Miller finished the 1953 season with a 1-2 record in 13 appearances (all but one in relief), and an ERA of 5.94 in 36⅓ innings of work.[5]

In the 1954 season he had a 1-1 record and the only save of his career, appearing in 22 games (all but one in relief) and ending with a 2.45 ERA in 69⅔ innings. In the 1955 season he pitched to a 2-1 record in seven appearances (three of them starts, including his only complete game) and ending with an ERA of 2.49 in 25⅓ innings. Miller finished with an 0-2 record in the 1956 in 11 appearances (all but three in relief), and his ERA ballooned to 5.68 in 35⅔ innings of work.[5]

Cincinnati Reds (1962)[edit]

Miller was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds from the Tigers on November 30, 1959 in the 1959 minor league draft. The Reds brought him up in the 1962 season, and he appeared in 6 games, all in relief, and had an ERA of 21.94 in 5⅓ innings of work with the club.[5]

New York Mets (1962)[edit]

The Reds traded Miller along with Cliff Cook to the New York Mets on May 7, 1962 in exchange for Don Zimmer.[5] One of two pitchers on the Mets inaugural squad sharing the name Bob Miller, Mets manager Casey Stengel would call Bob L. Miller by the name "Nelson", perhaps to distinguish him from this Bob Miller, or just general confusion on Stengel's part.[4][6]

With the Mets, Miller finished the season with a 2-2 record in 17 appearances, all in relief, and had an ERA of 7.08 in 20⅓ innings. Miller's final major league appearance was on September 18, 1962, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Houston Colt .45s, with Miller retiring the last three batters in the ninth inning of a game the Mets lost 8-6 at the Polo Grounds.[5][7]

Career statistics[edit]

Career Pitching[5]
W L G GS CG SHO GF Sv IP H R ER HR BB K HBP ERA WHIP
6 8 86 8 1 0 48 2 188.7 206 114 99 15 92 75 4 4.72 1.580

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1953 American League Expanded Leaderboards, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 2, 2008.
  2. ^ 1953 Nationa League Expanded Leaderboards, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 2, 2008.
  3. ^ a b via Associated Press. "Tigers Pay $95,000 Bonus Money For School Hurler and Outfielder", The New York Times, June 23, 1953. Accessed October 2, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Treder, Steve. "Cash in the Cradle: The Bonus Babies", The Hardball Times, November 1, 2004. Accessed October 2, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Bob Miller, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 3, 2008.
  6. ^ Vecsey, George. "Sports of The Times; What's-His-Name Helps To Win Another Game", The New York Times, May 19, 2004. Accessed September 29, 2008. "The Old Man called Bob Miller Nelson and he tried to send up Blanchard to pinch-hit only to be reminded that Johnny Blanchard was still across the river with the Yankees, where Casey managed two years earlier."
  7. ^ Sep 18, 1962, Colts at Mets Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 2, 2008.

Sources[edit]