May 5, 2010 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints
ST. PAUL, MN (May 5, 2010) - Kevin Millar and the St. Paul Saints announced Wednesday that he will return to the ballclub after a 12-year Major League career. Millar, one of the most incredible stories in Saints history, began his career in 1993 with St. Paul and will return for his victory lap with the Saints beginning this Saturday, May 8.
The 38-year-old Millar played 63 games for the Saints during their inaugural season. He helped guide the team to its first championship, hitting .260 with five homers and 30 RBI. In 227 at bats he scored 33 runs, roped 11 doubles and one triple. His numbers were impressive, and in 1994 Millar's contract was purchased from the Saints by the Florida Marlins where he began his climb to the Major Leagues at Single-A Kane County.
"It's great that Kevin wants to come back to play for the Saints," said Saints' Manager George Tsamis. "He made it clear in our conversations that he wants to return to where it all began professionally for him, to give back to the community and to work with our younger players as Leon Durham and other veterans with the Saints' 1993 championship team did for him." Five members of that Saints' team, including Millar, went on to play in the Major Leagues.
Millar will be available for interviews Saturday prior to the team's 6:00 p.m. exhibition game at Chaska's Athletic Park. He will also be available Sunday prior to the club's 1:00 p.m. exhibition game at Minnetonka's Veterans Field. Millar will officially be introduced as a member of the Saints on Wednesday, May 12 at the annual World's Largest Game of Catch. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. in downtown St. Paul on Robert Street between 6th Street and 7th Place with a program beginning at 12:30 p.m.
This weekend's exhibition games are an ode to amateur baseball around the Twin Cities area. The Saints started this tradition in 2008 when they played at historic Jack Ruhr Field in Miesville. It proved to be so popular the Saints returned their in 2009. This season the Saints will help out the Chaska and Minnetonka fields as both contests will help raise money for these historic leagues and ballparks.
An infielder, outfielder and designated hitter during his career, Millar made the jump to the big leagues in 1998. After walking against Francisco Cordova in his first plate appearance, he singled off Rich Loiselle for his first career hit. Millar spent most of 1999-2002 with the Marlins before being traded to the Boston Red Sox on February 15, 2003. He set career marks that season with 25 homers and 96 RBI. Millar was honored that season with the Jackie Jensen Award which is presented annually to a Major League player for spirit and determination. The award is named for the late Red Sox outfielder, who starred with Boston from 1954-59 and 1961.
In 2004, Millar was a key member of the cast of self-proclaimed "idiots" who captured the World Series title. In that season, with his familiar "Cowboy Up" rallying cry, Millar played in a career-high 150 games. He started in 12 of 14 post-season games, including a home run in Game One of the ALDS against the Anaheim Angels. He had one of the most important at bats in Red Sox history when he drew the lead off walk in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. He also doubled in the first inning of Game One of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
After spending 2005 with the Red Sox, Millar became a free agent and signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles. He reached base safely in 103 of 132 games and was second on the club with a .374 on-base percentage. He re-signed with the Orioles in 2007 and 2008. Millar set a team record by reaching base safely in 52 consecutive games from June 21-August 25. In 2008, Millar hit 20 homers, reaching that mark for the third time in his career. Millar signed with the Toronto Blue Jays where he played in 78 games during the 2009 season.
He agreed to a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs on February 4, 2010 and was released on March 30.
The Saints roster now stands at 25 players, 11 pitchers and 14 position players. The Saints can carry 27 players during spring training, but must be down to 23 by opening day. The Saints then must be down to 22 players 14 days after the beginning of the season.
Millar will make his Midway Stadium return on Opening Day, Thursday, May 13 when the Saints take on the Wichita Wingnuts at 7:05 p.m. To purchase tickets contact the Saints box office at 651-644-6659 or visit saintsbaseball.com.