The second-to-last surviving member of the 1950 Phillies Whiz Kids, Bob Miller, passed away Friday at the age of 94.
The second-to-last surviving member of the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies “Whiz Kids,” right-handed pitcher Bob Miller, passed away Friday evening at the age of 94, according to his University of Detroit Mercy alma mater.
Miller pitched all of his 10 seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 1949 to 1958. Spanning 261 appearances — including 68 starts, 23 of which he tossed a complete game — Miller went 42-42 with a 3.96 ERA, 1.382 WHIP ratio, and a 263-247 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 822 innings.
During the famous 1950 National League pennant season, which earned the youthful Phillies team the Whiz Kids nickname, Miller finished second in the Rookie of the Year Award race, going 11-6 with a 3.57 ERA across 35 appearances and 21 starts. Over his first 19 appearances to start the season, the Detroit, Michigan, native went a perfect 8-0 with a 2.38 ERA and .260/.324/.337 opposing slash line.
The year was just the second time the Phillies ever reached the World Series; they would go on to get swept by the New York Yankees, and would not return to the championship series until 30 years later.
Southpaw pitcher Curt Simmons, 91, remains the last surviving Whiz Kid. Simmons played 20 seasons in the majors and earned three All-Star nods while in Philadelphia. In 1964, he won the World Series while with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Larry Shenk wrote an MLB.com feature on Miller in June 2016, shortly after his 90th birthday. Among the changes Miller noted between the game in which he knew and the game of today was pitchers’ velocities, as well as pitch count.
“When Robin Roberts used to pitch, hell, you could have a day off. I remember in Milwaukee once, I pitched 12 innings in a nothing-nothing game,” Miller recalled. “We were rained out and nobody even warmed up for me.”
After his playing days, Miller won nearly 900 games as baseball coach at the University of Detroit Mercy; he is one of just five players who spent their entire Major League career with the Phillies (minimum of 10 seasons), joining Mike Schmidt (18), Ryan Howard (13), Larry Christenson (11), and Terry Harmon (10).