Feb 17, 2021

Bob Miller: Two Time Mets Reliever (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 teams history. He allowed five runs 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. Incredibly, Miller lost his first eleven decisions pitching in both relief & in a starting role. 

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

At the end of September, he pitched his best two games, 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. 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, 91 strike outs 62 walks in 143 innings pitched in 33 appearances (21 starts). He 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 sweep the AL 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.

Miller moved into the Dodger bullpen the next year leading the league in appearances (74) in 1964. He pitched behind Ron Peranoski & then Phil Regan in the Dodger pen in the mid sixties.


Miller pitched well with nine saves in each of the next two seasons winning another World Series in Los Angeles in 1965. 

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

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 before finishing his career back in New York with the 1974 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 & it would be the last in his career. 

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, 895 strike outs 608 walks & a 3.37 ERA in 1551 innings in 694 appearances.  


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

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

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