Rick Miller had a solid, albeit unremarkable, big league career. A left-handed hitting center fielder known mostly for his speed and defense — he was awarded a Gold Glove in 1978 — Miller slashed .269/346/.350 in 4,440 plate appearances from 1971-1985. He spent his first seven seasons with the Red Sox, the next three with the California Angels, then returned to Boston for five more.
Miller entered pro ball on the heels of a Big Ten batting title. In his junior season with the Michigan State Spartans, the Grand Rapid native hit .429, prompting the Red Sox to take him in the second round of the 1969 draft. Little more than two years later — this despite a swing adjustment that may have been ill-advised — he was in the big leagues to stay.
Miller discussed the early and late portions of his career when the Red Sox held an alumni game at Fenway Park two summers ago.
David Laurila: What do you remember about the start of your career?
Rick Miller: “I was drafted in 1969 out of Michigan State. There were a lot of contact hitters at the time, and I got some bad advice when I first came up. This was from one of the people in the Red Sox organization. I’m not…