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Roscoe Miller

Roscoe Miller
Born: (1876-12-02)December 2, 1876
Greenville, Indiana
Died: April 18, 1913(1913-04-18) (aged 36)
Corydon, Indiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 25, 1901 for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
July 30, 1904 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Win-loss record 39-45
Earned run average 3.45
Strikeouts 198

Career highlights and awards

  • First 20-game winner for the Detroit Tigers with 23 wins in the Tigers' inaugural season
  • American League leader in saves in 1903 with 3
  • Had an Adjusted ERA+ of 130 in 1901

Roscoe Clyde Miller (December 2, 1876, Greenville, Indiana – April 18, 1913, Corydon, Indiana)[1] was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played parts of four seasons (1901–1904) with the Detroit Tigers, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. For his career, he compiled an 39–45 record in 102 appearances, with an 3.45 earned run average and 198 strikeouts. His nicknames were Roxy and Rubberlegs.


Miller's rookie season in 1901 was his best. He started 36 games for the Detroit Tigers in their first season in the new American League, and finished with a record of 23–13—the first 20-game season by a Detroit Tigers pitcher. In 1901, he also had 35 complete games (still an American League rookie record),[2] 3 shutouts, 79 strikeouts, and a 2.95 ERA—89 points below the league average. His Adjusted ERA+ of 130 was 5th in the AL behind Cy Young. He was also among the league leaders in wins (4th) and win percentage (6th) in the AL's inaugural season.

Two games in September 1901 illustrate his strengths and weaknessess. On Labor Day 1901, the Tigers picked up 21 infield assists (including 12 by shortstop Kid Elberfeld) to support Miller—still the American League record for infield assists.[3] Three days later, Miller lost his cool in an 11–9 loss to the Philadelphia Athletics, inexplicably lobbing the ball and grinning as the A's batter hit it, then throwing a bunt into the stands allowing three runs to score.[4]

Miller could not duplicate the success of his rookie season, losing 20 games in 1902, and never again having a winning record. After a rough start to the 1902 season, Miller jumped mid-season to the New York Giants to play with newly signed Giants' manager John McGraw. Miller was 1–8 for McGraw and the Giants in the last half of 1902. Miller played his remaining three MLB seasons in the National League.

In 1904, Miller sprained his wrist in a carriage accident. Miller was riding with 14 Pittsburgh Pirates players when the rear wheel suddenly collapsed. Several players, including Miller and Kitty Bransfield, were injured when the frightened horses bolted and dragged the carriage on its side. (Arthur Hittner, "Honus Wagner: The Life of Baseball's Flying Dutchman" (1996), p. 137)[5]

In 1906, Miller pitched for the Des Moines Champions of the Western League, where he led the circuit with a 28–15 record.[6] Miller died in Corydon, Indiana, aged 36, from unknown causes.

See also


External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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