Former Baltimore Orioles Pitcher John Miller Dead at Age 79

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 08: The cap and glove of starting pitcher Chris Tillman. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 08: The cap and glove of starting pitcher Chris Tillman. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Young baseball pitchers dream of someday playing in the Big Leagues, and one of those who did it for the Baltimore Orioles passed away on June 5, 2020.

While John Miller only played for a few seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, he did get to fulfill his childhood dream and win a World Series ring while doing it.

Miller played in 46 games for the Orioles in five seasons between 1962 and 1967. He did not play in 1964.

He was a part of the 1966 World Series team, although he did not throw any pitches during the four-game series against the Dodgers. While it is practically unheard of today, three of the Orioles pitchers threw complete games. And, in the first game of the series, the Orioles used two pitchers. With Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, and Wally Bunker on the squad, Miller never had a chance to throw.

In the 1966 season, Miller was the fifth starter on a phenomenal rotation. He finished the season with an ERA of 4.74 and a WHIP of 1.490. Despite not playing the World Series, he did earn a ring for his work in the regular season. Remember in 1966, the MLB only had the World Series. The best team in the NL and the AL played each in a best-of-seven series. Wild Card games began in 2012, Division Series in 1981, and League Championship Series began in 1969.

According to an article from Childs Walker in The Baltimore Sun, Jim Palmer said about Miller:

"“You talk about a quiet guy — John hardly ever said anything. We had so many different characters … and John was just genuinely nice and good-hearted. He could pitch, he had a great slider and I looked at him as somebody I wanted to emulate.”More from Orioles NewsPredicting the Baltimore Orioles Opening Day InfieldOrioles News: O’s Sign Adam Frazier and Other MLB NewsBaltimore Orioles Sign Adam FrazierOrioles News: Projecting Grayson Rodriguez’s Debut and Other MLB NewsExclusive FanDuel, DraftKings Maryland Promo Expiring: Bet $20, Win $600 Before It’s Too Late"

Miller’s career was over in 1967. He struggled with shoulder issues throughout his career. After pitching a handful of innings, the Orioles sold his contract to the Mets on May 10. He never pitched again after that.

But he continued to support Baltimore. After his baseball career ended, Miller worked as a Baltimore County firefighter for 28 years.

Orioles history is filled with men like Miller who got their chance to do what the loved. Unlike today, pitchers threw even when they were in pain, and Miller was one of those men who toughed it out for his team. Unfortunately, doing that destroyed his career. According to Palmer, Miller never complained about how his shoulder pain took away his career.

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Palmer said about him: “A lot of people live that life of ‘I could’ve been a contender.’ But it never seemed to bother John.”