Bob Miller

Robert John Miller
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2020
Connection to Michigan: St. Mary’s of Redford High School, University of Detroit Mercy
Primary position: Head Coach/Pitcher


 

Born in Detroit, Bob Miller starred in baseball, football and basketball at St. Mary’s of Redford High School. After a stint in the Army from 1944-1947, Miller pursued baseball at the University of Detroit, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies for $25,000 following his sophomore year. He made his MLB debut in September 1949 before establishing himself alongside young aces Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons as a frontline starter for the Phillies’ very first pennant winners, the Whiz Kids of 1950. He finished 11-6 with a 3.57 ERA and two shutouts in 174 innings, placing second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. In all, Miller pitched 10 years in the Major Leagues, appearing in 261 games spanning 822 innings. Said Phillies manager Eddie Sawyer, “[Bob Miller] got more fellows out on a 3-2 curveball than anybody I ever saw in my life.”

In 1963, Miller rejoined the University of Detroit as an assistant coach. Two years later, he was named head baseball coach upon Lloyd Brazil’s untimely passing in a car accident. It was a position he held for the next 36 years, amassing a career record of 896-780-2 with 25 seasons above .500 and nine seasons of at least 30 victories. Miller’s Titans included such future Major Leaguers as Dick Drago (1969-1981) and Bill Fahey (1971-1983). They made it to the NCAA Tournament in 1965, beating Ball State and Ohio before they were eliminated at the hands of Ohio State; won a school record 36 games in 1975; and went on a memorable run in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament in 1997. Miller’s Titans finished 15-9 in conference play to earn the second seed entering the tournament, and then ousted Milwaukee, Northern Illinois and Wright State in succession to capture the school’s first conference championship.

Miller is a member of the University of Detroit Mercy Hall of Fame, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Catholic League Hall of Fame.


 
 
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