Damian Miller is one of the most notable Wisconsin-born baseball players in recent memory, so it's only fitting that his career ended with a stint in his home state. On this day in 2004 the Brewers signed the UW-La Crosse alum, eight-year major league veteran and one-time All Star catcher to a three-year contract.
Miller's first season in Milwaukee was his best one, as he hit .273/.340/.413 over 114 games and set a new career high by scoring 50 runs. Age caught up to him a bit after that and his playing time dwindled in his age 36 and 37 seasons before he retired following the 2007 campaign.
You can make a solid case for Miller as the best Brewer catcher of the 2000's, which is equal parts praise for his work in Milwaukee and an indictment of the competition. Miller caught 265 games for the Brewers during the decade (only Jason Kendall caught more with 282) and his .714 OPS was easily higher than Kendall (.645), Chad Moeller (.578) or Henry Blanco (.675).
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 2008 Brewer Ray Durham, who turns 41.
- 1989 Brewer Dave Engle, who turns 56.
Today is also the 18th anniversary of a 1994 trade that brought Fernando Vina from the Mets to the Brewers. We covered that event in this space last year.