Thursday, January 29, 2009

#98 Bob Miller

BOMILLER by you.

Bob Miller is one of four pitchers named Miller in the 1965 Topps set. The others are Orioles rookie John, Bob's Dodger teammate Larry, and John Miller's Oriole contemporary Stu. There are no position players with the surname Miller in the set. Very curious.

Fun facts about Bob Miller:

-That's not his real name. He was born Robert Lane Gemeinweiser, which I suppose doesn't roll trippingly off of the tongue.

-Was a bonus-baby signing of the Cardinals in 1957, which necessitated his major league debut as an 18-year-old. Teammate Walker Cooper had made his major league debut when Bob was an infant!

-Was versatile, starting 99 games and finishing 290 among 694 career appearances. Former teammate Roy Hartsfield dubbed him "The Christian" because he suffered for the sake of the pitching staff, pitching some tough innings when he was sore to spare other banged-up relievers.

-Bob had the misfortune of pitching for the 1962 Mets, where he tied a major league record by losing his first dozen decisions on the way to a 1-12 record. That record was later broken by another Met moundsman, Anthony Young.

-Not only was he not the only Bob Miller on the '62 Mets, he wasn't the only Bob Miller in his room on road trips. Lefty Bob G. Miller was his roommate. The two Bob Millers did not faze manager Casey Stengel, who referred to our guy as "Nelson" for no apparent reason.

-He posted an adjusted ERA (ERA+) at or above the league average 11 times in 14 full seasons, including each of his first four seasons with the Dodgers (1963-1966). He also won a career-high 10 games in 1963 and led the National League in games with 74 in 1964.

-Did not pitch in the 1963 World Series win, but turned in three scoreless appearances for the Dodgers in the 1965 and 1966 World Series (a win and a loss, respectively). Also pitched on the winning end of a Fall Classic for the 1971 Pirates, though he was not personally impressive (0-1, 3.86).

-Redefined the term journeyman, playing for ten different teams and tying another since-broken record. Three times in four years he pitched for three teams in a single season: Indians/White Sox/Cubs in 1970, Cubs/Padres/Pirates in 1971, and Padres/Tigers/Mets in 1973.

-Miller was the first-ever pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays (1977-1979), and coached for the Giants in 1985. Later worked as an advance scout for San Francisco.

-Another not-so-fun fact: Bob died due to injuries suffered in a car collision in Rancho Bernardino, CA in 1993. He was 54 years old.
bomillerb by you.


  1. 3 teams a season 3 different times in 4 years. A guy could get a complex.

    I do have one slight correction. The Dodgers won the 1965 Series in 7 games, with Koufax throwing a 3-hitter against Jim Kaat. Bob got three WS rings ('63, '65, '71)

  2. Geez, you're right! Thanks for the correction. I guess I was looking at his page with tired eyes last night!