Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gar Millay, Good Ballplayer - 445

Originally published Jan. 13, 2012
Over his three years at the University of Arizona, Gar Millay started every game. In his last game, one in which he hit a two-run home run, his team won the College World Series.

''I swear to God, I think about it everyday when I'm walking on the beach and all,'' Millay told The Orlando Sentinel in August 1986, having turned pro and signed with the Rangers. ''I think about what a lucky thing it was to have won a game like that and play on a team with those guys.''

A native of San Diego, Millay signed with the Rangers that year, taken by the team in the 28th round of the June 1986 draft. In addition to hitting that home run in the 1986 championship game, Millay hit two home runs in a regular season 1985 game.

Millay played that first season at single-A Daytona Beach, hitting .259, with three home runs and 27 RBIs.

He hit AA Tulsa for 28 games his second season, playing the rest back in the Florida State League. Between the two, he hit .261, with 13 home runs.

Millay moved up to AA Tulsa full time in 1988, also getting an 18-game look at AAA Oklahoma City. He hit .249 with 10 home runs.

It was Tulsa again for 1989, then AAA Oklahoma City for 1990. He hit .257 for the 89ers that year. In June, the outfielder even tried his hand at pitching, giving up two runs in an inning of work.

Millay played for Oklahoma City again in 1991, what would be his final year as a pro. He hit just .233 over 93 games, falling short of the majors.

Millay returned to his hometown after his playing days were done, he and his wife having three children.

In July 2011, though, at the age of 46, he passed away after a battle with brain cancer.

Speaking in January 2011, as Millay's battle with cancer went on, Millay teammate and roommate at Arizona Steve Strong recalled Millay to The Arizona Daily Star as a great teammate who would do anything for anyone.

"He was such a good ballplayer; he hit a home run against Florida State in that championship game and wasn't influenced by the pressure," Strong told The Daily Star. "He was always up to a situation of that magnitude."

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