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Kevin Millar

Chicago Cubs — No. 15
First baseman
Born: September 24, 1971 (1971-09-24) (age 38)
Los Angeles, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 11, 1998 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .274
Home runs     169
Runs batted in     697
Hits     1276
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Millar on September 13, 2008.

Kevin Charles Millar (born September 24, 1971 in Los Angeles, California) is a Major League Baseball first baseman for the Chicago Cubs organization. Millar played college baseball at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he continues to reside in the off-season.[1] Millar is the nephew of former major league outfielder Wayne Nordhagen.[2]

Contents

Biography

In 1993, Millar began his professional career with the Saint Paul Saints of the Northern League.

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Replacement player

Millar was a replacement player during the 1994 Major League Baseball strike, when he played with the replacements in early 1995 and therefore, he is barred from membership in the Major League Baseball Players Association.[2]

Florida Marlins (1998–2002)

From 1997 to 1999, during games encompassing several minor league stints, Millar set the record for most consecutive games reaching base with 71 straight (although this statistic only began to be formally tracked in the minors in 1996). This record was tied in 2003 by future Red Sox teammate Kevin Youkilis. His contract was purchased by the Florida Marlins at the end of the season and he made his major league debut for Florida in 1998.

Boston Red Sox (2003–2005)

Millar played for the Marlins between 1998 and 2002, and was later sold to the Japanese Central League Chunichi Dragons. In order for the transaction to be completed, he first had to clear the waivers requested by the Marlins, but the Red Sox broke an "unwritten rule" and blocked the deal with a waiver claim. In an unprecedented deal brokered by MLB, the Marlins later repaid the money that the Dragons had paid for Millar, and the Sox also paid a similar sum to the Marlins in return for Millar. He became a clubhouse favorite and a sort of cult hero for the Red Sox fans because of his iconic "Cowboy Up" rallying cry. His clubhouse presence and offensive production helped spark the Red Sox to the 2003 American League Championship Series and the 2004 World Series. Millar was active in team interviews and conversations throughout the playoffs. He was often outspoken and made friends with many teammates.

During the 2003 playoffs, Millar came up with the phrase "Cowboy Up," and in 2004 referred to his team as "idiots" to keep his teammates loose during the stretch run to the World Series Championship.

Probably one of his most memorable quotes came during the 2004 American League Championship Series when, while warming up before Game 4, with the Red Sox down 3 games to 0 against the arch-rival New York Yankees, kept repeating "Don't let us win tonight!" Further developing on that quote, he added "This is a big game. They've got to win because if we win we've got Pedro coming back today and then Schilling will pitch Game 6 and then you can take that fraud stuff and put it to bed. Don't let the Sox win this game." These words became prophetic as the Sox rallied in 12 innings in game 4 to win 6-4 and went on to come from behind and win the ALCS 4 games to 3, capping off the biggest comeback in MLB playoff history and setting the stage for their first World Series victory since 1918.

Millar is considered an above-average fielder at his position, having led all American League first basemen with a 9.97 range factor in 2005.

Baltimore Orioles (2006–2008)

Millar signed with the Baltimore Orioles on January 12, 2006 as a free agent. During the season he broke Rey Ordonez's record for most games played by any non-drafted player who started his career in the Independent Leagues during the Draft era. [3]

He was not only brought to Baltimore because of his bat, but also his personality.[4] Initially in Baltimore, he was not an everyday player. However, when Dave Trembley took over the team, he began to play more regularly.[5]

On August 23, 2007, Millar reached base safely for the 50th consecutive game, setting a franchise record for the Baltimore Orioles. On August 26, 2007 Millar's streak came to an end at 52 games. It is the 7th longest streak since 1957.

Millar tossing out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series.

In Game 7 of the 2007 ALCS Millar threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park. Also, he introduced the Red Sox starting lineup for Fox Television. Even though he got permission from Orioles brass, it was seen as controversial.[6] He has a special relationship with the Sox, including other instances when every member of the Orioles was booed except for Millar at an O's-Sox game at Fenway Park. Signs have also appeared at Fenway Park and Camden Yards with phrases like "Millar: Fenway's favorite Oriole."

Toronto Blue Jays (2009)

On February 11, 2009, Millar signed a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays as a non-roster invitee.[7] He successfully made the roster, serving as a backup to first baseman Lyle Overbay.

On Friday, April 10, 2009, during the Cleveland Indians' 2009 home opener at Progressive Field, Millar avoided a potentially embarrassing and rally-slowing situation when he stumbled and fell running to first base after hitting a ground ball to shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the top of the 8th inning. Peralta threw to Asdrúbal Cabrera at second base unsuccessfully attempting to force out Scott Rolen who was on first base, and Cabrera's relay to first was in the dirt and subsequently mishandled by Ryan Garko, which allowed Millar to reach first base safely. Millar reached second base after José Bautista's sacrifice bunt and then was replaced by John McDonald as a pinch runner, who then scored after Shin-Soo Choo's fielding error during Marco Scutaro's single to right field. The Blue Jays would go on to score six runs in the inning, four of which came after two outs were recorded, and win the game 13–7.[8]

After Alex Rios was claimed off waivers, Millar switched his number from #30 to his familiar #15.

Chicago Cubs (2010-present)

On February 1, 2010, Millar agreed to a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, with an invite to spring training.[9]

Video game aliases

Kevin Millar is not a member of the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association), and therefore his name or likeness may not be published in officially-licensed video games. Many games will nevertheless include him and other non-MLBPA players, with fictional names and different appearances. In MVP Baseball 2004, he was not included. In MVP Baseball 2005 and MLB Front Office Manager, Millar is replaced by "Anthony Friese". In Major League Baseball 2K5 and Major League Baseball 2K6, he is replaced by "Carlos Ahearn". In MLB 07: The Show and in MLB 08: The Show he is replaced by "Ivan Jimenez". In Major League Baseball 2K7, Major League Baseball 2K8 and Major League Baseball 2K9, Millar is replaced by "Kyle Morgan", with the same initials. In MLB Power Pros 2008 he is replaced by "Great Johnson". In MLB 09: The Show , on the online roster update, he is replaced by "Dave Herman". In MLB Dugout Heroes, Millar is replaced by "Kane Matthews" with the same initials. In all instances, the statistics of these characters are based on the real Kevin Millar.

Movie appearance

Millar makes an appearance (in actual game footage) in the movie Fever Pitch in which he walked and was lifted for a pinch runner.

Television References

In 2009, on the MLB Network program "Prime 9" showcasing well known baseball pranksters, Millar was included on a list of baseball's all time "characters". He was rated at #9 on the list. Numerous current and former teammates discussed Millar's sense of humor, and looseness that he brings to teams.

See also

References

External links


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