Dots Miller

First Base
  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Cardinals
  • League: National League

John Barney Miller (1886-1923) broke into major league ball in 1909 at the top of the game. As second-baseman for the Pirates, Dots would spend his rookie season with a champion as Pittsburgh won the NL pennant and beat the Tigers in the World Series. Miller went on to a fine 12-year career with three National League clubs: five with Pittsburgh, five with the Cardinals and the last two with the Phillies. When Fred Clarke brought Miller to the ‘09 spring camp he played him at short as the team’s regular, a guy named Honus Wagner, was late arriving. There was no way Miller would stay at that position once Wagner finally showed up but his play impressed Clarke enough to earn a spot at 2nd. A reporter asked Wagner who the new kid was and Hans said “That’s Miller.” The scribe noted it phonetically and a memorable nickname was born. Dots became a versatile addition to each team, playing every position for St Louis and prompting Ring Lardner to dub him the best utility man of the era.

  • Miller succumbed to TB just as his promising managerial career was beginning. He led his San Francisco Seals to the PCL pennant in 1922
  • NL president John Heydler paid tribute to “a brainy player, well liked everywhere…”

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