Bob Miller: A Two Time Member of Mets Pitching Staff's (1962 / 1973-1974)

Robert Lane Miller was born February 18, 1939, in St. Louis Missouri. 

Trivia: This Bob Miller would be the roommate, of another pitcher, named Bob Miller on the 1962 original Mets pitching staff.

 The six-foot one right-handed Bob Miller was signed by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals as a "bonus baby" in 1957. 

MLB Career: He debuted briefly in five games that season returning to the minors for the 1958 season. He was used as both a starter & reliever from 1959-1961 in St. Louis posting a 9-9 record over those seasons. 

He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft, the first pick in the premium phase of that draft. 

Mets Career: Miller made his Mets debut on April 21st, 1962, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the eighth game in the team's history. He allowed five runs including a HR to Dick Stuart, in 5.1 innings pitched, taking the loss. He lost his next start, which was against the Cincinnati Reds as well. He was moved on to pitch in the bullpen for most of May. 

Eleven Game Losing Streak: Incredibly, Miller lost his first eleven decisions pitching in both relief & in a starting role. On June 3rd he gave up six runs to the Giants then three runs to the Cubs at Wrigley Field taking a 3-2 loss. On June 22 he was tagged for eight runs (six earned) by the Houston Astros to fall to 0-6.

Sandy Koufax Trivia: On June 30th, he was the losing pitcher when Sandy Koufax, no hit the Mets 5-0.

On July 2nd he came in the game in the 8th inning recording a save in San Francisco. Two days later he took another loss in the first game of a double header in San Franciso serving up HRs to Willie McCovey & Jim Davenport. August brought three more losses where he gave up four runs in each start. He lost the eleven straight decisions falling to 0-12.

At the end of September, he pitched his best two games, both coming against the Chicago Cubs. On September 23rd, he allowed just two hits & one run over eight innings of work at the Polo Grounds but earned no decision. 

On September 29th, he finally got his first victory in his last outing of the season. It came at Wrigley Field, pitching a complete game, one run Mets victory.

Trivia: The other Bob Miller, was also a pitcher. He arrived in May 1962, in the Don Zimmer trade. Manager Casey Stengel was so confused with two pitchers named Bob Miller, that he called one of them Nelson. 

This Bob Miller finished the year at 1-12 with a 4.89 ERA with 91 strike outs & 62 walks in 143 innings pitched in 33 appearances, making 21 starts. He also threw 12 wild pitches (5th most in the NL). After the season he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tim Harkness & Larry Burright.

Post Mets Career: He went from the worst team in the N.L. to the best team as the 1963 Dodgers went on to win 99 games (99-63-1) & then sweep the A.L. NY team in the World Series. Miller went 10-8 with a good 2.89 ERA on a staff of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale & Johnny Podres. He did not pitch in the Fall Classic.

In 1964 Miller moved into the Dodger bullpen leading the league in appearances (74) going 7-7 with nine saves. He pitched behind Ron Peranoski (14 saves) & then Phil Regan in the Dodger pen in the mid-sixties.

In the Dodgers 1965 Championship season, Miller pitched in 61 games with nine saves & finishing off 37 games.

1965 World Series: Miller finished out two games of the 1965 Series, both games that were won by the Minnesota Twins. The Dodgers won the series in seven games.

In 1966 Miller was 4-2 with 2.77 ERA & five saves getting to another Dodger World Series but this time losing to the Baltimore Orioles. Miller went on to pitch as a journeyman for seven more teams. The Minnesota Twins (1968-1969) Cleveland Indians (1970) Chicago White Sox (1970 -1971) San Diego Padres (1971) Pittsburgh Pirates (1971-1972) San Diego Padres (1973) Detroit Tigers (1973) & finishing his career back in New York with the Mets. 

Return to the Mets: He arrived back in New York on the last week of the 1973 season, in the heat of a wild pennant race. He only appeared in one game & as the Mets won the NL East, he didn’t make the post season roster.

In 1974 he made the Mets staff out of Spring Training. On April 14th, he blew a save against the Phillies at Shea Stadium taking the loss. On April 28th in San Francisco, he pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Harry Parker earning the save. 

Two days later in Los Angeles. he got a win against the Dodgers, although he did allow a run in the Mets 8-7 win. In June, he earned a win at Wrigley Field pitching two scoreless innings & it would be the last in his career. 

On July 8th, he earned his second save in a 2-1 Mets win in relief of Harry Parker who was making a rare start. He earned two holds on the season as well.

Miller remained with the Mets all year making 58 appearances, going 2-2 earning two saves, posting a 3.58 ERA. 

He retired after the season finishing a long 17-year career, going 69-81 with 51 saves. He struck out 895 batters with 608 walks & a 3.37 ERA in 1551 innings in 694 appearances making 99 starts. In his career he batted .110 with 33 hits & 8 RBIs.

Retirement: After his playing career he coached the expansion Toronto Blue Jays (1977) & the San Francisco Giants (1985).

Passing: In 1993 Miller was killed in a fatal car crash whiles driving his elderly mother to a doctor appointment. He was just 54 years old.


Popular posts from this blog

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Remembering Vixen Founder / Guitarist; Jan Kuehnemund (1961-2013)

Remembering Mets History: (1977) The Felix Millan / Ed Ott Brawl In Pittsburgh

Remembering Mets History (1979) SNL's Chico Escuela Visits Mets Spring Training & Attempts a Career Comeback