December 2, 1876|
|Died: April 18, 1913
|April 25, 1901 for the Detroit Tigers|
Last MLB appearance
|July 30, 1904 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||3.45|
Career highlights and awards
Roscoe Clyde Miller (December 2, 1876, Greenville, Indiana – April 18, 1913, Corydon, Indiana) was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played parts of four seasons (1901–1904) with the Detroit Tigers, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. For his career, he compiled an 39–45 record in 102 appearances, with an 3.45 earned run average and 198 strikeouts. His nicknames were Roxy and Rubberlegs.
Miller's rookie season in 1901 was his best. He started 36 games for the Detroit Tigers in their first season in the new American League, and finished with a record of 23–13—the first 20-game season by a Detroit Tigers pitcher. In 1901, he also had 35 complete games (still an American League rookie record), 3 shutouts, 79 strikeouts, and a 2.95 ERA—89 points below the league average. His Adjusted ERA+ of 130 was 5th in the AL behind Cy Young. He was also among the league leaders in wins (4th) and win percentage (6th) in the AL's inaugural season.
Two games in September 1901 illustrate his strengths and weaknessess. On Labor Day 1901, the Tigers picked up 21 infield assists (including 12 by shortstop Kid Elberfeld) to support Miller—still the American League record for infield assists. Three days later, Miller lost his cool in an 11–9 loss to the Philadelphia Athletics, inexplicably lobbing the ball and grinning as the A's batter hit it, then throwing a bunt into the stands allowing three runs to score.
Miller could not duplicate the success of his rookie season, losing 20 games in 1902, and never again having a winning record. After a rough start to the 1902 season, Miller jumped mid-season to the New York Giants to play with newly signed Giants' manager John McGraw. Miller was 1–8 for McGraw and the Giants in the last half of 1902. Miller played his remaining three MLB seasons in the National League.
In 1904, Miller sprained his wrist in a carriage accident. Miller was riding with 14 Pittsburgh Pirates players when the rear wheel suddenly collapsed. Several players, including Miller and Kitty Bransfield, were injured when the frightened horses bolted and dragged the carriage on its side. (Arthur Hittner, "Honus Wagner: The Life of Baseball's Flying Dutchman" (1996), p. 137)
- Roscoe Miller Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com at www.baseball-reference.com
- Complete Games Records by Baseball Almanac at www.baseball-almanac.com
- "Charlton's Baseball Chronology - 1901". www.baseballlibrary.com. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Roscoe Miller | BaseballLibrary.com at www.baseballlibrary.com
- Arthur D. Hittner (2003). Honus Wagner. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1811-7.
- Minor League Baseball: History: Top 100 Teams at www.minorleaguebaseball.com
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)