Tuesday, March 24, 2015

'59 Topps set build #15/572 Stu Miller

It's time to get back into the swing of things around here, and I'll start off with another installment of the '59 Topps set build, featuring the card of one of the best "swing" men of his era, Stu Miller.

Card #183:  Stu Miller

Career beginnings:   Stu was signed by the Cardinals in 1949 as an amateur free agent.  He would first appear on the Cardinals roster in 1952, starting 11 games, winning 6 of them with 2 shut outs. 
Stu served in the Navy before starting his career with the Cards.

Cartoon on the back:  Interesting cartoon depicting a hitter being frightened by what appears to be a fast ball.  But, if you look at Stu's bio, it speaks to the "junk" that he throws, and further goes on to describe his best pitches as slow and slower. 

How'd he fare in 1959?  Quite well, actually.  Stu appeared in 59 games, 9 of them starts.   He had 8 saves, and had just enough innings to qualify for the ERA title.  His 2.84 ERA for the '59 season trailed only his teammate Sam "toothpick" Jones' mark of 2.83. 

  • Stu had a great September, compiling a 1.45 ERA and finishing 9 of the 12 games he appeared in.   Unfortunately, the Giants were just 2-10 in those 12 games. 
  • His 2.47 ERA led the National League in 1958. 
  • Stu became a reliever exclusively at the start of the 1961 season, and was named relief pitcher of the year in '61(NL) and '63 (AL).
  • He was selected to the NL All-Star team in '61, and was famous for committing a balk by being blown off the mound by high winds at Candlestick Park.
  • Stu combined with Steve Barber on 4/30/67 to be the first pitchers to throw a combined no-hitter in over 50 years while with the Orioles.
  • Stu would also win a World Series with the Orioles in 1966 while not appearing in any of the games.   The only WS in which he did appear was in 1962 with the Giants.  He pitched in games 1 & 5, not allowing any earned runs.   The Yankees won that series in 7.
Stu passed away in January of 2015 at the age of 87.

Thanks for reading, Robert 

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