Friday, February 17, 2012

no. 18 - norm miller

Who is the man: Norm Miller was at the end of the height of his career when this card came out. And by "height," I mean around 200 at-bats a year.

Can ya dig it: I think I love action shots in 1971 Topps more than action shots in any other set. All Miller is doing here is taking a pitch and it's the most fantastic looking take I've ever seen. You can practically see Miller saying, "I don't know -- maybe that was a strike."

Right on: Miller wrote a memoir three years ago called, "To All My Fans From Norm Who?"

You see this Miller is a bad mother: Miller had a practice of wearing his warm-up jacket like a cape. In fact, he's doing it on the cover of his book. I don't care how goofy some may think you look, wearing your jacket like a cape in front of 25-plus grown teammates is bad-ass.

Shut your mouth: Miller's first major league at-bat was at Dodger Stadium in front of his family and friends. He was told he wasn't going to play, but then someone told him to grab a bat and go to the plate. Miller did what he was told, and when he arrived to hit, the umpire said, "welcome to the big leagues, son. It's a lot easier to hit if you take your jacket off."

No one understands him but his woman: Miller was the first Jew to play for the Houston Astros.

(A word about the back): This card is an example of the infuriating nature of the single line of stats in 1971 Topps. The write-up talks about the fantastic 1969 season Miller had, how he far exceeded his totals in multiple categories. Yet, you don't know what those totals are because there are only stats for 1970. Argh!


  1. Just a bit outside.
    The pitch I mean.
    I can't imagine how nervous I'd be in my first at-bat. I'd wear my coat to hide the pee stain on my pants.

  2. I'm REALLY tempted to buy his book. And I never heard of the guy before this post...

  3. That's a nice picture on the front

  4. When Jim Bouton got traded to the Astros late in the '69 season, he became Miller's road roommate. A few good Miller stories can be found in "Ball Four."