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The 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time - No. 19 - Stu Miller

19. Stu Miller, RHP (1963-1967)

Stu Miller came to the Orioles in 1963, when he was already 35 years old. He had started his big league career with the Cardinals in 1952 (signed with the Cardinals in 1949). He started 11 of 12 games he pitched in '52, going 6-3 with a 2.05 ERA, but the next season he was mostly in relief, starting just 18 of his 40 appearances. He struggled for a couple years before being traded to Philadelphia.

His stay in Philly was short, just 24 games long. He was sent to the New York Giants prior to their final season before moving to San Francisco, and did pretty well (3.63 ERA, 108 ERA+). From there, he would have only a couple of off-years the rest of his career.

After six years with the Giants, he was sent to Baltimore with Mike McCormick and John Orsino in exchange for Jack Fisher, Billy Hoeft and Jimmie Coker. Orsino is an interesting footnote in Orioles history, having one good season, which was his first year with the club. The catcher hit .272/.349/.475 with 19 homers and 56 RBI in 116 games in 1963, then had two rough years and was basically finished.

Miller was the prize. He was basically replacing Hoyt Wilhelm as Baltimore's relief ace, and while Wilhelm's years with Chicago were better than Miller's with Baltimore, Miller was quite good. In 1963, he pitched 112 1/3 innings, striking out 114, saving 27 games, and posting a 2.24 ERA. He saevd 23 more games with a 3.06 ERA in '64, and then had his best year in 1965: 14 wins, 24 saves, 104 strikeouts in 119 1/3 IP, 1.89 ERA, 1.00 WHIP.

Stu Miller pitched two more seasons for the O's, and was good in both (2.25, 2.55), then was purchased by the Braves at age 40 on April 1, 1968. He pitched 1 1/3 innings for Atlanta, giving up one hit, walking four, and allowing four earned runs. That was it for Miller.

In Miller's first start on August 12, 1952, against the Cubs, Miller threw a shutout. He is also famous for being literally blown off the mound at Candlestick Park during the 1961 All-Star Game. I can't find a listed height for Miller, but he was notoriously thin, just 165 pounds. When he first came to the majors, Eddie Stanky asked, "Who's that stenographer?"

He did not throw hard, one of those guys that they say "threw three speeds - slow, slower and slowest." He was a curve/change guy, had one of those windups. He is third all-time in franchise history in saves, with 100, behind Gregg Olson and Tippy Martinez. (To really get down to how much the game and that stat in particular has changed over time, Jorge Julio is fourth all-time in saves with 83. Jorge Julio.)