September 24, 1971 |
Los Angeles, California
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 11, 1998 for the Florida Marlins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 2009 for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Runs batted in||699|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kevin Charles Millar (//; born September 24, 1971) is an American former professional baseball first baseman and current analyst for MLB Network and New England Sports Network. He is a host along with Chris Rose on the MLB Network show Intentional Talk.
Millar was born in Los Angeles and graduated from University High School in Los Angeles. He attended and played baseball for Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Under the tutelage of Coach Jim Gilligan, Millar and the Cardinals prospered. For two glorious seasons, Millar was a key part of Lamar’s return to prominence in collegiate baseball. In 1992, Lamar went 32-21, posting the NCAA’s biggest turnaround with a 14-victory improvement over the 1991 season. Millar led the Cardinals that season in runs (41), hits (56), home runs (13) and runs batted in (50), and he earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors. The next season, Millar helped lead the Cardinals to a 44-18 record, to the SBC regular-season and tournament championships and to a berth in the NCAA’s Central 1 Regional in College Station. at Lamar.
Florida Marlins (1998–2002)
From 1997 to 1999, during games encompassing several minor league stints, Millar set the record for most consecutive games reaching base with 71 straight (although this statistic only began to be formally tracked in the minors in 1996). This record was tied in 2003 by future Red Sox teammate Kevin Youkilis. His contract was purchased by the Florida Marlins at the end of the season and he made his major league debut for Florida in 1998.
Boston Red Sox (2003–2005)
Millar played for the Marlins between 1998 and 2002, and was later sold to the Japanese Central League Chunichi Dragons. In order for the transaction to be completed, he first had to clear the waivers requested by the Marlins, but the Red Sox broke an "unwritten rule" and blocked the deal with a waiver claim. In an unprecedented deal brokered by MLB, the Marlins later repaid the money that the Dragons had paid for Millar, and the Sox also paid a similar sum to the Marlins in return for Millar. He became a clubhouse favorite and a sort of cult hero for the Red Sox fans because of his iconic "Cowboy Up" rallying cry. His clubhouse presence and offensive production helped spark the Red Sox to the 2003 American League Championship Series and the 2004 World Series. Millar was active in team interviews and conversations throughout the playoffs. He was often outspoken and made friends with many teammates.
During the 2003 playoffs, Millar came up with the phrase "Cowboy Up", and in 2004 referred to his team as "idiots" to keep his teammates loose during the stretch run to the World Series Championship.
During the 2004 American League Championship Series, while warming up before Game 4, with the Red Sox down 3 games to 0 against the arch-rival New York Yankees, Millar kept repeating "Don't let us win tonight!" Further developing on that quote, he added "This is a big game. They've got to win because if we win we've got Petie coming back today and then Schilling will pitch Game 6 and then you can take that fraud stuff and put it to bed. Don't let the Sox win this game." These words became prophetic as the Sox rallied in 12 innings in game 4 to win 6-4 - trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th, Millar walked to lead off the inning, and pinch runner Dave Roberts would eventually score the tying run - and went on to come from behind and win the ALCS 4 games to 3, capping off the biggest comeback in MLB playoff history.
Millar's leadership role in the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox has endeared Millar in the hearts of millions of fans in Red Sox Nation. On April 20, 2012 Millar, together with Pedro Martinez gave a toast to Fenway Park on the 100th anniversary of the ballpark. Millar and Martinez stood on top of the home dugout and gave a toast that helped the park witness the largest toast in history according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Baltimore Orioles (2006–2008)
Millar signed with the Baltimore Orioles on January 12, 2006 as a free agent. During the season he broke Rey Ordóñez's record for most games played by any non-drafted player who started his career in the Independent Leagues during the Draft era.
On August 23, 2007, Millar reached base safely for the 50th consecutive game, setting a franchise record for the Orioles. On August 26, 2007 Millar's streak came to an end at 52 games. It was the 7th longest streak since 1957.
In Game 7 of the 2007 ALCS Millar threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park. Also, he introduced the Red Sox starting lineup for Fox Television. Even though he got permission from Orioles brass, it was seen as controversial. He has a special relationship with the Sox, including other instances when every member of the Orioles was booed except for Millar at an O's-Sox game at Fenway Park. Signs have also appeared at Fenway Park and Camden Yards with phrases like "It's Millar Time."
Toronto Blue Jays (2009)
On Friday, April 10, 2009, during the Cleveland Indians' 2009 home opener at Progressive Field, Millar avoided a potentially embarrassing and rally-slowing situation when he stumbled and fell running to first base after hitting a ground ball to shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the top of the 8th inning. Peralta threw to Asdrúbal Cabrera at second base unsuccessfully attempting to force out Scott Rolen who was on first base, and Cabrera's relay to first was in the dirt and subsequently mishandled by Ryan Garko, which allowed Millar to reach first base safely. Millar reached second base after José Bautista's sacrifice bunt and then was replaced by John McDonald as a pinch runner, who then scored after Shin-Soo Choo's fielding error during Marco Scutaro's single to right field. The Blue Jays would go on to score six runs in the inning, four of which came after two outs were recorded, and win the game 13–7.
After Alex Ríos was claimed off waivers, Millar switched his number from #30 to his former #15.
Chicago Cubs (2010)
On February 1, 2010, Millar agreed to a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, with an invitation to spring training. However, on March 30, he was released by the Cubs after not making the major league team.
Millar announced his retirement on April 21, 2010, though on April 27, 2010 on MLB Network Radio with Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy he stated it is not official as he still wants to play. Millar has joined MLB Network as a studio analyst. On May 20, 2010, Millar also joined New England Sports Network (NESN) as a pre-game and post-game analyst. On May 22, 2010, Millar made his debut for Fox Sports and its MLB on Fox Saturday telecasts. He will serve as a pre-game, game break, and post-game analyst for its primetime games in the studio, as well as a fill-in color analyst for select games this season.
Return to baseball (St. Paul Saints)
On May 5, 2010, Millar returned to baseball when he signed a contract with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, the same team with whom he started his career. His contract language also allows him to leave the team at certain times to carry out his broadcasting duties.
After the 2003 season Millar was awarded the Jackie Jensen Award, which is presented each year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The award is presented to th player that best exemplofies the spirit and desire of Jackie Jensen, the former Red Sox outfielder.
Video game aliases
While an active player, Millar was not a member of the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association), and therefore his name or likeness could not be published in officially-licensed video games. Many games nevertheless included him and other non-MLBPA players, with fictional names and different appearances. In MVP Baseball 2004, he was not included. In MVP Baseball 2005 and MLB Front Office Manager, Millar is replaced by "Anthony Friese". In Major League Baseball 2K5 and Major League Baseball 2K6, he is replaced by "Carlos Ahearn". In MLB 07: The Show and in MLB 08: The Show, he is replaced by "Ivan Jimenez". In Major League Baseball 2K7, Major League Baseball 2K8 and Major League Baseball 2K9, Millar is replaced by "Kyle Morgan", with the same initials. In MLB Power Pros 2008, he is replaced by "Great Johnson". In MLB 09: The Show, on the online roster update, he is replaced by "Dave Herman". In MLB Dugout Heroes, Millar is replaced by "Kane Matthews" with the same initials. In all instances, the statistics of these characters are based on the real Kevin Millar.
Movie and television appearances
Millar made an appearance (in actual game footage) in the movie Fever Pitch in which he walked and was lifted for a pinch runner.
Millar co-Host's the MLB Network show Intentional Talk with Chris Rose. He repeatedly uses the phrase "Got heeem" which has become a signature part of "Intentional Talk". Millar's relationships with current and former MLB players provide "Intentional Talk" with lively and informative interviews.
- "On-Air Personalities : Kevin Millar". MLB Network. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- The Official Site of The Baltimore Orioles: News: Baltimore Orioles News
- Ginsburg, David (July 17, 2007). "Millar on Baltimore: 'I Want to Be Here'". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- Blue Jays sign Millar
- Crasnick, Jerry (2010-02-01). "First baseman Kevin Millar, Chicago Cubs, agree with 1-year minor league deal". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- "Millar a 'union guy' 12 years later". The Carroll County Times. July 8, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kevin Millar|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Minor League streak
- Baseball Almanac
- MLB Network: On-Air Personalitie - Kevin Millar