Monday, December 21, 2009

1976 Topps #302 - Rick Miller

  • Rick Miller was an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels for 15 years. Miller was drafted by the Red Sox in 1969 and played in their system from 1969-1971. His minor league stats weren't all that eye-popping -- his best batting average was .262 and he didn't hit more than 15 HR in a season. But he walked 106 times in 1971 for a .389 on base percentage and he had 21 outfield assists that year. At the end of the '71 season Rick came up to the Red Sox and batted .333 in 33 at bats.
  • Miller's role was as a defensive replacement in 1972. He got into 89 games but batted only 111 times for a .214 average. In 1973 Rick was the starting CF and batted .261 in 441 at bats. After the 1973 season Rick married Carlton Fisk's sister Janet Marie. Miller started 73 games in CF for the Red Sox in 1974 and played in a total of 114 games. He batted .261 in 280 at bats. Rick's playing time had decreased because the Red Sox had brought up Juan Beniquez, who was the Minor League Player of the Year in '73.
  • In 1975 Miller's playing time really decreased as the Red Sox brought up Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. He played in 75 games and batted .194 in 108 at bats. Rick wasn't used in the ALCS and was 0 for 2 in the World Series. Rick got a little more playing time in 1976 when Lynn was injured, but there still wasn't much room for him. Miller batted .283 in 269 at bats in '76. In 1977 Miller was the fourth outfielder and batted .254 in 189 at bats. He spent almost the whole month of May on the disabled list with a broken thumb. After the 1977 season Miller became a free agent and signed with the California Angels.
  • Miller became the Angels starting center fielder in 1978 and won a Gold Glove award. He batted .263 in 475 at bats. Rick didn't have as good a year on the basepaths -- he stole 3 bases and was caught 13 times. In 1979 Miller shared time with Joe Rudi, Dan Ford, and Don Baylor in the outfield. He batted .293 as the Angels' leadoff hitter. Rick was 4 for 16 in the ALCS. Rick batted .274 in 129 games in 1980 and was traded back to the Red Sox after the season.
  • In 1981 Miller was the starting center fielder for the Red Sox and batted .291 in 97 games in the strike-shortened season. Miller batted .254 in 135 games in 1982. After the Red Sox acquired Tony Armas, Rick's playing time started to drop. He batted .286 in 262 at bats in 1983. He was 17 for 36 as a pinch hitter that year. In 1984 he batted .260 in 123 at bats. An injured hip hampered him during his last season in 1985. Rick batted .333 in 45 at bats in 1985 and retired after the season.
  • After his career Rick worked with his financial advisor for a while then started a promotional business dealing in autograph shows. After a few years Rick started coaching as a volunteer assistant with a local college. He also runs baseball clinics and does charity work for baseball. Miller managed the Nashua Pride of the independent Canadian-American Baseball League in 2008.

  • Liked to face: Milt Wilcox (.420 in 51 AB); Wayne Garland (.441 in 34 AB); Dave Goltz (.538 in 26 AB)

  • Hated to face: Doyle Alexander (.195 in 41 AB); Dan Petry (.176 in 34 AB); Al Fitzmorris (.167 in 30 AB)

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