Monday, April 30, 2012

Russ Miller died 50 years ago today

Russell Lewis Miller, born at Etna, Ohio on March 25, 1900, became a pitcher with the Columbus Senators of the American Association in 1930, the last year the club was known as the Senators; they were renamed the Columbus Red Birds in 1931. Miller was one of a handful of players who appeared on the very last Senators' team.

He died at Bucyrus, Ohio at the age of 62, the result of a heart attack.

As a member of the Columbus club in 1930, Miller played under Harry Leibold, a feisty and colorful manager who was a long-time veteran of the game. Miller had a respectable season that year, winning nine of 20 decisions with 147 inning of work in 43 games. The Senators landed in sixth place under Leibold that year with a record of 67-86. Miller was teammates with Emmett McCann whose suicide was reported a few weeks ago in this blog.

Miller's statistics indicate he had control problems that year, walking 59 while striking out only 23 with a 5.81 ERA. With numbers like those it's a wonder his won-loss record wasn't worse.

In 1931, Miller split the season between the Indianapolis Indians and Columbus Senators, compiling a 4-2 record while appearing in 29 games combined.

His combined minor league career consisted of seven seasons with a record of 53-45 in 191 games. He appeared in the major leagues as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1927-28 where his record was a dubious 1-13 in 35 appearances.

After baseball, Miller spent 28 years as an agricultural county agent for Crawford County, Ohio. He is buried at Glen Rest Memorial Estates in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a cemetery I have visited with my wife some years back.

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