Posted at 9:07 AM on April 21, 2005
by David Zingler
A surprise member of the Twins opening day roster, reserve catcher Corky Miller, already has been the butt of many jokes in this young season. With his unusual name -- Corky Abraham Phillip Miller -- and his miniscule batting average - he hit .026 last season - he's an easy target. For better or worse, I've always been the curious type, so I decided to find out more about this much maligned, fourth string catcher.
"My uncle's wife's brother's name was Clark and they called him Corky," Miller responded when asked about the origins of his name. "They kind of named me after him.... I guess I have to like it, I've had it for almost 30 years...everybody doesn't believe that it is my real name."
"It's funny, my mom didn't want me to have the name Corky if I ever became president," he continued, "I can change it to Abraham if that was to ever happen."
When you are 1 for your last 47 (.021) in the past two seasons, it stands to reason that you probably don't put a lot of stock in statistics. "I don't (look at my stats)," he said. "Most of the stats I care about are what the pitchers do (when I am catching) -- their win/loss record, ERA -- I don't look at it closely, I just go out and play....once every week or so."
The 29-year-old even short-changed himself when quizzed about his batting average last season, "probably zero-two-five or something," he said. After that dismal showing and an 0 for 8 start to this season, he's got to be dying for a hit -- right?
"You always want to get a hit," Miller said, obviously downplaying his plight. "I don't know that you want it more than other times. You just go out and put a good swing on the ball whenever you can."
Once voted the "player you want most in your clubhouse," in the minor leagues, Miller's positive attitude and playful demeanor (along with Joe Mauer's tender knee), helped him make the team's roster. "I usually just say whatever comes into my mind," he explained. "Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. You just have to stay loose and try to keep everybody else loose."
With two full time catchers, Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond, along with Matthew LeCroy, who can catch in a pinch, Miller may be the most marginal player in the big leagues. My advice is to enjoy him, even have a little fun at his expense, while you can.
I used to babysit Corky and I think this a great article I liked the story about his name. When Corky was only 2 years old he would walk around with a bat all the time and he was the most agressive little league player I've ever seen.I am very proud of him and wish him all the best