- Location: Minneapolis, MN
- League: Northwestern League 1884, 1886-1887; Western Association 1888-1891; Western League 1894-1899; American League 1900; Western League 1901; American Association 1902-1960; Northern League 1913; Great Central League 1994
- Affiliation: Boston Red Sox 1936-1938; New York Giants 1946-1957; Boston Red Sox 1958-1960; Independent Leagues 1994
- Ballpark: Athletic Park 1889-1891; 1894-1896; Nicollet Park 1896-1955; Metropolitan Stadium 1956-1960; Parade Stadium 1994
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.
During the entire course of their history in the American Association, the Millers were embattled in a heated rivalry with the St. Paul Saints. For more on this topic see Rex Hamann's The Millers and the Saints, Baseball Championships of the Twin Cities Rivals, 1903 to 1955 (McFarland, 2014). An additional source is Hamann's database covering the essential offensive statistics between the two teams is online at http://millers-saints.com.
In 1994 the name Minneapolis Millers 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.
|1884||30-42||6th||Benjamin Tuthill||Several teams disbanded causing a second season|
|7-4||2nd||Benjamin Tuthill||Team disbanded, ending second season|
|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|
|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|
|1901||56-62||6th||Jack Glasscock / Beall||none|
|1903||50-91||7th||Walt Wilmot / George Yeager||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|
|1915||92-62||1st||Joe Cantillon||none League Champs|
|1918||34-42||7th||Joe Cantillon||League suspended operations July 21|
|1923||74-92||6th||Joe Cantillon / Clyde Milan||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|
|1937||87-67||3rd||Donie Bush||Lost in 1st round|
|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|
|1946||76-75||4th||Zeke Bonura (8-11) / Rosy Ryan (1-2) / Tom Sheehan (67-62)||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|
|1952||79-75||4th||Frank Genovese||Lost in 1st round|
|1953||76-78||5th||Frank Genovese (17-32) / Jake Early (3-0) / Freddie Fitzsimmons (56-46)|
|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|
- Rex Hamann: "The Minneapolis Millers of the American Association," Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4671-1347-2
- Rex Hamann: "The Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints, A Statistical Chronicle Illuminating the Vital Baseball Rivalry, Part I, 1902-1920," The American Association Almanac, Vol. 10-3, Spring 2014.
- Rex Hamann: "The Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints, A Statistical Chronicle Illuminating the Vital Baseball Rivalry, Part II, 1921-1960," The American Association Almanac, Vol. 11-1, Fall 2014.
- 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.
- Rex Hamann: The Millers and the Saints: Baseball Championships of the Twin Cities Rivals, 1903–1955, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4766-1599-8
- 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.
- Dennis Pajot: "Michael Kelley's 1906-08 Woes with Organized Baseball", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 44, Number 1 (Spring 2015), pp. 93-117.
- 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.
- The Western League by W.C. Madden and Patrick Stewart,
- The American Association by Bill O'Neal