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Sunday School: History Lesson 55

Bob Miller was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1949-1958. Signed as an amateur free agent in 1948, Miller made his Major League debut with the Phillies the next season, pitching 3 games in relief, after winning 19 minor league games.

He returned with the big club the next season and won 11 games and posted a 3.57 ERA for the 1950 pennant winners. Miller, a Michigan native, got his chance to start following struggles by veterans Russ Meyer and Ken Heintzelman. Miller quickly made the most of his chance by pitching consecutive shutouts of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. By the time Miller allowed a run, in his third start, he had pitched 22 straight scoreless innings. Miller's record soon ran to 8-0.

Miller would soon prove to be an accident prone player the likes of which the Phillies have probably not seen since. In late June, 1950 Miller tripped over a step while carrying his luggage to a waiting train and injured his back. After a period of recovery, he did not pitch as effectively. Over the remainder of the season, Miller won three of his nine starts.

Miller started game 4 of the World Series, but was pulled in the very first inning, after spotting the Yankees a 2-0 lead. He took the loss in that game.

By 1952, Miller returned to the minor leagues and he appeared in just 3 games with the Major League Phillies that season. He was back in the big leagues for good in 1953, but truly lacked much stamina and didn't go deep into games, so he was relegated to the bullpen. He spent three seasons as a key reliever for the Phils, but again accidentally injured himself when he fell over his children's toys in his home and broke his own wrist. A year later, in 1958, Miller would retire.
Miller would later become head baseball coach at the University of Detroit, near his home.

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