Milton Joseph Bolling
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
- School Spring Hill College
- High School McGill-Toolen Catholic High School
- Debut September 10, 1952
- Final Game July 28, 1958
- Born August 9, 1930 in Mississippi City, MS USA
- Died January 19, 2013 in Mobile, AL USA
The Boston Red Sox signed Milt Bolling as an amateur free agent before the 1948 season and assigned him to the class B Roanoke Red Sox. The 17-year-old rookie shortstop got off to a rough beginning, hitting only .184 in 85 games.
Milt plied his trade with several teams in the minors until September 10, 1952 when he made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox, at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. Following his eleven-game trial in 1952, Milt earned the starting shortstop job for the Reds in 1953. He responded by hitting a career-high .263. His OPS+ of 77 was just barely above his career average as he did not have a high OBP (.318) or slugging percentage (.353). He also suffered an ankle injury that hampered him the rest of his career.
In spring training in 1955 the snake-bitten infielder dislocated his left arm during a play at second base in which a collision with Del Rice almost destroyed him. Milt was traded to the Washington Senators in 1957 and he concluded his seven-year American League career with the Detroit Tigers in 1958 with a .241 lifetime average.
With Detroit, Milt joined his younger brother Frank in the middle infield. Their brief union enabled them to become one of four brother double play combinations in baseball history (through 2008), joining the 1945 Phillies' Garvin and Granny Hamner, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Eddie and Johnny O'Brien (early 1950s) and the Baltimore Orioles' Cal and Billy Ripken in the late 1980s.
Bolling had spent eleven seasons in professional baseball from 1948 through 1958. Altogether he appeared in 940 games with 3,081 at bats and 734 base hits, including 49 home runs, for a .238 batting average.
- Jeremiah "Pepper" Woolsey: "Milt Bolling", in Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, eds.: Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2012, pp. 219-225. ISBN 978-1933599243