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Friday, March 10, 2017

Roger Miller, Very Excited - 19

Originally published Jan. 19, 2015
Roger Miller had been turning heads on the baseball field since he was at least 14 and he kept doing so through college, according to The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

So, when the pros came calling in 1989, Miller was ready, according to The Herald-Tribune.

"He's very excited about it," Miller's mother Mary Miller told The Herald-Tribune that June. "He didn't get a huge signing bonus, but he has a chance to play. I think he's going to do fine. I keep telling him he's going to make it."

Miller took that chance to a pro career that lasted seven seasons and he eventually made it to AAA. Miller, though, never made the majors.

Miller's career began that year in 1989, taken by the Giants in the 14th round of the draft out of the University of Georgia.

At the age of 14, Miller helped his team of 15-year-old Babe Ruth players to the state championship, The Herald-Tribune wrote. His coach Sloan had nothing but good things to say about Miller.

"He's a fantastic ballplayer," Sloan told The Herald-Tribune. "Roger's a team player from the word go, not an individualist."

Miller went on to play at Georgia. He also excelled. By May 1989, he'd become the SEC's all-time leader in hits. He also held multiple team records, including in home runs, according to The Gainesville Sun.

With the Giants, Miller started at rookie Pocatello. In 57 games, he hit .332. He then moved to single-A Clinton in 1990. In his first full season, Miller hit .264, with 43 RBI. The catcher also made the league all-star team.

In the all-star game, Miller actually played first base, filling in after an injury, according to The Quad City Times. He also got the game-winning hit.

"I don't think I had played first all season for Clinton," Miller told The Times years later, "but I wanted to play so badly I raised my hand and ended up playing the entire game."

Miller moved to high-A San Jose in 1991. Then, after not being recorded as playing in 1992, he played 1993 at Clinton and AA Shreveport.

Miller continued with the Giants through 1995, making it to AAA Phoenix for 43 games in 1995. He played his final season in 1996 with the Rockies at AA New Haven and AAA Colorado Springs.

Miller has since returned to Sarasota and become a coach. In 2013, he coached a travel team called the Sarasota Salty Dawgs.

"The kids we have are friends outside of here," Miller told The Herald-Tribune of his team that year, "go to school together, the parents are friends and have team parties together . . . Our chemistry is great."

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