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Minneapolis Millers

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[edit] Team History

The Minneapolis Millers were the first minor league team based in Minneapolis, MN. They began play in the 1884 Northwestern League and immediately developed a long-standing rivalry with the clubs from St. Paul, MN. They later were mainstays of the Western League from 1894 through 1900. Despite losing one game in 1896 to St. Paul by a 41-8 score, the team won their first Western pennant that year, led by the pitching of Bill Hutchison and the hitting of Perry Werden, a Miller leader of the decade. The team fell drastically, winning less than 35% of its games in both 1897 and 1898. In 1899 they bounced back and led the Western League in wins but lost the pennant, which was decided on the basis of winning percentage.

When the Western League became the American League in 1900, the Millers finished dead last. Werden led the league in doubles, slugging and homers, but he got little support. The team returned to the Western League in 1901.

In 1902 the Millers joined the new American Association and continued to play there through 1960. The Millers were highly successful, winning nine pennants and never finishing last. From 1896 to 1955, the club played its home games in Nicollet Park. In 1913, a second team played in the same park, but in the Northern League; it is known as both the Millers and the Minneapolis Bronchos and was a farm team of the AA's Millers. After one unsuccessful season, that team became the Fargo-Moorhead Graingrowers. In 1956, the team moved to a new ballpark, Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, MN. The Washington Senators moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season to become the Minnesota Twins, and the Millers ceased operation, as did the neighboring St. Paul Saints. There was a fierce rivalry between the two teams, with a tradition of playing each other in holiday doubleheaders in which the first game would be played in one city in the morning, and the second in the other in the afternoon.

Ted Williams played for the Millers in 1938 winning a Triple Crown, and in 1951, Willie Mays, Hoyt Wilhelm and Ray Dandridge were members of the club. Also appearing for the Millers in their AA period were Rube Waddell, Gavvy Cravath, Zack Wheat, Monte Irvin, Jimmy Collins, Orlando Cepeda and Carl Yastrzemski. Minor league stars to appear after Werden included Joe Hauser, Buzz Arlett, Nick Cullop, Spencer Harris and Dave Altizer.

In 1994 the name was briefly resurrected and used by a professional team in the newly-created Great Central League. Managed by former Boston Red Sox star George Scott, the team played at Parade Stadium within the confines of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Led by outfielders Boo Moore and Ray Moon and pitchers Jeff Gregg, Brian Heil and Eric Lovedahl, the Millers finished the regular season in 3rd place in the team's sole year of existence.

Sources: The Western League by W.C. Madden and Patrick Stewart, The American Association by Bill O'Neal

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1884 30-42 6th Benjamin Tuthill Several teams disbanded causing a second season
7-4 2nd Benjamin Tuthill Team disbanded, ending second season
1886 36-42 5th Edward Whitcomb none
1887 54-65 5th Robert Foster none
1888 28-52 -- Al Gooding / James Powell Sold franchise to Davenport from Central Interstate League,
playing last game August 18
1889 66-56 3rd Samuel Morton / Emory Hengle none
1890 80-43 2nd Tim Hurst none
1891 52-47 -- William Harrington Team disbanded August 20
1894 61-68 4th John Barnes (minors) none
1895 64-59 4th John Barnes (minors) none
1896 89-47 1st Walt Wilmot League Champs
1897 43-95 6th Walt Wilmot none
1898 48-92 7th Walt Wilmot none
1899 76-50 2nd Walt Wilmot none
1900 53-86 8th Walt Wilmot none
1901 56-62 6th Jack Glasscock / Beall none
1902 54-86 6th Walt Wilmot none
1903 50-91 7th Walt Wilmot / George Yeager none
1904 78-67 4th Bill Watkins none
1905 88-62 3rd Bill Watkins none
1906 79-66 3rd Mike Kelley none
1907 79-73 3rd Mike Cantillon none
1908 77-77 5th Mike Cantillon none
1909 88-79 3rd Jimmy Collins none
1910 107-61 1st Joe Cantillon none League Champs
1911 99-66 1st Joe Cantillon none League Champs
1912 105-60 1st Joe Cantillon none League Champs
1913 97-70 2nd Joe Cantillon none American Association
65-59 5th Bob Unglaub none Northern League
1914 75-93 7th Joe Cantillon none
1915 92-62 1st Joe Cantillon none League Champs
1916 88-76 3rd Joe Cantillon none
1917 68-86 6th Joe Cantillon none
1918 34-42 7th Joe Cantillon League suspended operations July 21
1919 72-82 5th Joe Cantillon none
1920 85-79 4th Joe Cantillon none
1921 92-73 2nd Joe Cantillon none
1922 92-75 2nd Joe Cantillon none
1923 74-92 6th Joe Cantillon / Clyde Milan none
1924 77-89 6th Mike Kelley none
1925 86-80 4th Mike Kelley none
1926 72-94 7th Mike Kelley none
1927 88-80 5th Mike Kelley none
1928 97-71 2nd Mike Kelley none
1929 89-78 3rd Mike Kelley none
1930 77-76 4th Mike Kelley none
1931 80-88 6th Mike Kelley none
1932 100-68 1st Donie Bush none League Champs
1933 86-67 2nd Dave Bancroft Lost League Finals
1934 85-64 1st Donie Bush Lost League Finals
1935 91-63 1st Donie Bush none League Champs
1936 78-76 5th Donie Bush
1937 87-67 3rd Donie Bush Lost in 1st round
1938 78-74 6th Donie Bush
1939 99-55 2nd Tom Sheehan Lost in 1st round
1940 86-59 3rd Tom Sheehan Lost in 1st round
1941 83-70 4th Tom Sheehan Lost in 1st round
1942 76-78 7th Tom Sheehan
1943 67-84 6th Tom Sheehan
1944 54-97 7th Rosy Ryan
1945 72-81 5th Rosy Ryan
1946 76-75 4th Zeke Bonura / Rosy Ryan / Tom Sheehan Lost in 1st round
1947 77-77 4th Tom Sheehan Lost in 1st round
1948 77-77 5th Frank Shellenback (31-33) / Billy Herman (46-44)
1949 74-78 4th Tommy Heath Lost in 1st round
1950 90-64 1st Tommy Heath Lost in 1st round
1951 77-75 5th Tommy Heath
1952 79-75 4th Frank Genovese Lost in 1st round
1953 76-78 5th Frank Genovese / Jake Early (3-0) (June 6) / Freddie Fitzsimmons (June 8)
1954 78-73 3rd Bill Rigney Lost in 1st round
1955 92-62 1st Bill Rigney League Champs
1956 78-75 4th Eddie Stanky Lost in 1st round
1957 85-69 3rd Red Davis Lost in 1st round
1958 82-71 3rd Gene Mauch League Champs
1959 95-67 2nd Gene Mauch League Champs
1960 82-72 5th Eddie Popowski
1994 30-33 3rd George Scott

[edit] Further Reading

  • Rex Hamann: "Baseball's Twin Towers in the Twin Cities: The Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints in the American Association, 1902-1960", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 29-37.
  • Joe O'Connell: "The Saints-Millers Holiday Series", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 44-46.
  • Joel Rippel: "Perry Werden's Record-Setting 1895 Season ant the 1890s Minneapolis Millers", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 25-28.
  • Stew Thornley: On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers, Nodin Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2000.

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