Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vintage Fridays: Stu Miller, 1966 Topps #265

Stu Miller might be one of the most underrated pitchers in Orioles history, an exceptional relief ace whose career ended just as his role started to become more crucial and publicized. He was selected as Camden Chat's 19th-Greatest Oriole of All Time, and for good reason. The fact that he was 35 years old when he arrived in Baltimore in 1963, and yet made such a mark on the franchise, is telling of his sustained level of excellence. Using a deliberate windup and an array of offspeed and breaking pitches, Miller racked up 100 saves in five seasons in Charm City, not to mention 38 wins, all in relief. 14 of those wins came in 1965, almost certainly his finest season: 14-7 with career-highs of 24 saves (second in the A.L.), and a 1.89 ERA. His 0.997 WHIP was pretty nifty, too. His efforts were rewarded with a seventh-place finish in MVP voting that year.

Forty years after his retirement, Stu is still all over the team's career leader board (minimum 500 innings pitched). He ranks first in ERA (2.37), fourth in WHIP (1.12), first in hits per nine innings pitched (6.9), third in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (7.75 - behind Erik Bedard and Arthur Rhodes, incidentally), third in saves (100 - behind Gregg Olson and Tippy Martinez), sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.44), and second in adjusted ERA+ (145, where 100 is league average). Not bad work for an old man, eh?

1 comment:

Commish said...

Stu Miller, damn I loved that guy. And I wish we would play in those unis again, even for just a one night throwback.