Born Robert John Miller on June 16, 1926, in Detroit, Mich., he was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Detroit. A World War II veteran, Miller served in the U.S. Army from 1944-47 in the Philippines and Japan. Following his military service, he briefly attended the University of Detroit Mercy before being signed by the Phillies in 1948.
Miller pitched in the majors for 10 seasons (1949-58), all with the Phillies. In 261 career appearances (68 starts), he had a record of 42-42 with 23 complete games, six shutouts and a 3.96 ERA.
After making his ML debut on Sept. 16, 1949, the right-handed pitcher finished the following season as the runner-up for National League Rookie of the Year. He won a career-best 11 games and posted a 3.57 ERA in 35 games (21 starts) for the 1950 Phillies, helping the “Whiz Kids” to the NL pennant. As a 24-year-old rookie, Miller started Game 4 of the 1950 World Series at Yankee Stadium, opposite Yankees rookie starter and future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford.
Following his playing career, he returned to his collegiate alma mater as an assistant coach in 1963. From 1965-2000, he served as the school’s head baseball coach, guiding the team to an 896-780-2 record. During that time, Miller became a member of the University of Detroit Mercy’s Athletic Hall of Fame (1979) and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (1999).
Miller is survived by his daughter, Mary, and sons, Thomas, Bob and Patrick.
Funeral arrangements are pending.