NO. 33

A Giant leap

Bruce Miller enjoyed a brief but solid career in the major and minor leagues during the 1970s.

Though it was unspectacular, Bruce Miller had a solid major-league baseball career.

Born in Fort Wayne, Miller lived in Columbia City before playing baseball at Indiana University. There he hit .354 as a junior shortstop to earn All-Big Ten honors and IU's MVP award. The next year he signed with the Chicago White Sox and started his minor-league career with Duluth (Minn.) of the Northern League.

Miller led that league in defense at shortstop and was promoted to Asheville (N.C.) of the Southern League in 1971, where he became an All-Star, and to Tucson (Ariz.) of the Pacific Coast League in 1972. Then the White Sox traded him to the California Angels in 1972, and in 1973 he was sent to the San Francisco Giants.

It was with the Giants that Miller finally got his chance to make it to the majors. After he hit .313 and went 103 at-bats without striking out in Phoenix, the Giants called him up Aug. 4, 1973, and he hit .143 in 12 games.

Miller alternated between the majors and the minors the next season, hitting .278 with the Giants in 73 games, before sticking with San Francisco for the entire 1975 season. In 99 games that year, alternating at third base with Steve Ontiveros, Miller hit .239.

Some of his highlights that year include a 13-game hitting streak, belting his first and only major-league home run on July 31 off Clay Kirby in Cincinnati, a 4-for-4 day in Montreal and five game-winning hits.

Unfortunately, Miller hit .160 the next season to end his major-league career. He returned to teach and coach at North Side High School.

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