Corky Miller was originally drafted in 1994, by a team called the California Angels. Since he knew that they were destined to become the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he chose to go to the University of Nevada at Reno. Once he was done with that town, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
From there, he became the definition of a journeyman.
Miller has had stops with the Reds, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox and now…he has come full circle and is again playing in the Reds farm system. This guy knows the game of baseball. So even though his mustache is the thing that dreams are weaved from, I wanted to talk with him about baseball a little bit.
The more I read and learned about Miller, the more I realized that he was the real-life version of one of my all-time favorite movie characters…Jake Taylor.
HOVG: Corky, I read an article where you were compared to “Crash” Davis from the movie “Bull Durham”. Then I was reading somewhere else that Dusty Baker said that you were going to be an excellent coach someday. That conversation, paired with all of the things I know about you…I believe that you are the living, breathing Jake Taylor from “Major League”. Which movie do you like more, ‘Bull Durham’ or ‘Major League’?
MILLER: “Bull Durham” is a classic. If I have the choice, I prefer to watch that one.
HOVG: When people make these comparisons, do you take them as compliments? Do they bother you? Or do you simply not care?
MILLER: Nothing really bothers me. Most of the time, I take it as a compliment…even if it wasn’t meant as one.
HOVG: I mean it as the highest compliment.
HOVG: So if you had to beat out a suicide squeeze, in the bottom of the ninth, in order to get the Reds into the playoffs…could you beat out the throw?
MILLER: I bet I could if it was in slow motion!
HOVG: Well played. Is there a particular batter, who, over the course of your career, you have found it difficult to call pitches for? Or maybe a specific batter you never wanted to see come up to the plate?
MILLER: There have been a ton of batters that I have not wanted up at the plate at a certain time. I will tell you…that little fast guys are the ones that give me the most trouble. They just try and put the ball in play and your defense has to make a good play. It’s out of your hands.
HOVG: You have seen a lot of pitchers, in several different organizations. Who was the most talented pitcher you have ever caught?
MILLER: That is the hardest question to answer. For one, there have been so many “very good” ones, to go along with the bad. But you know, it’s not really for me to say who the most talented ones were. Those guys that have thrown to me and read this…can call themselves the most talented.
HOVG: Of all the games and moments you have had in baseball, what is the one story you will tell your grand kids when they ask you about your playing days?
MILLER: Probably the time I got a stolen base in the big leagues. I stole home in old Vet Stadium. That story makes it seem like I was fast…plus I will probably do a lot of name dropping of the guys I have played with.
Corky Miller is currently a catcher with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. He is a gentlemen, a scholar and should soon be replacing “The Most Interesting Man in the World” as the Dos Equis guy…because he is without a doubt one of the most interesting people I have ever talked to. You can follow Miller on Twitter at @Corky_Miller.