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John Milner
First baseman / Left fielder
Born: December 28, 1949(1949-12-28)
Atlanta, Georgia
Died: January 4, 2000 (aged 50)
East Point, Georgia
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
September 15, 1971 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1982 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Batting average     .249
Home runs     131
RBI     498
Career highlights and awards

John David Milner (December 28, 1949 - January 4, 2000), also nicknamed "The Hammer," was an American first baseman and left fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Mets (1971-77), Pittsburgh Pirates (1978-81, 1982) and Montreal Expos (1981-82). He batted and threw left-handed. His cousin Eddie also played in the major leagues.

In a 12-year career, Milner compiled a .249 average with 131 home runs and 498 RBI in 1215 games.

Milner was a talented prospect in the Mets organization, but his recurring hamstring injuries often caused him to miss playing time. A native of Atlanta, Georgia[1], he grew up a huge fan of Hank Aaron, even appropriating his idol's nickname.

A pure fastball hitter with lightning-quick wrists, Milner debuted with the Mets in 1971 at age of 21. In his rookie season (1972), he hit .238 with 17 home runs in 362 at bats and showed a good eye at the plate. In his career, Milner posted a 1.066 walk-to-strikeout ratio (504-to-473). His most productive season came in 1973, when he hit .239 with 23 home runs and 72 RBI and was a member of the Mets team that faced the Oakland Athletics in the 1973 World Series.

Traded to Pittsburgh before the 1978 season, Milner played for the Pirates' team that won the 1979 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. He developed and refined a reputation as a reliable pinch hitter that thrived in pressure situations during his tenure with the Pirates, and was a strong contributor to the championship run with 16 homers and 60 RBI in limited use. He also played for the Expos and returned to Pittsburgh in 1982 for a last run.

Milner's career included 10 grand slams. Three of those came with the Mets in 1976, and two as a pinch hitter for the Pirates in 1979 and 1982; both in August pennant races.

After his playing career, Milner was called to testify at the Pittsburgh drug trials of 1985 where he claimed he had received amphetamines from Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Willie Stargell, and that he had purchased cocaine in a bathroom stall during a game in 1980.

Milner, a heavy smoker, died in East Point, Georgia[1] following a long battle with lung cancer just one week after his 50th birthday.




See also

External links



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