MLB Prospects: This Date in MLB Prospect Debuts (April 11): Kevin Millar, 1998

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MLB Prospects: This Date in MLB Prospect Debuts (April 11): Kevin Millar, 1998
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
At least he kept his hat on.

Every morning, I will look back at a memorable MLB debut made on this specific date using information provided by Baseball Reference’s MLB Play Index.  

Making his big-league debut on April 11, 1998, Kevin Millar pinch-hit for the Florida Marlins with the team trailing, 6-3, against the Pittsburgh Pirates through five innings.

With two outs and a runner on second in the top of the sixth inning, Millar’s career began with a five-pitch walk.  Despite his preference for frosting the tips of his hair, the Marlins allowed Millar to play third base for the remainder of the game.

After cutting the Pirates’ lead to 6-5, Millar’s first chance on defense came in the eighth inning after a leadoff double by Freddy Garcia.  Pinch-hitting for the pitcher, Doug Strange laid a bunt down the third base line, which the overly-chatty third baseman proceeded to throw away.  Somehow Garcia did not come around to score, which now put runners on second and third with still nobody out.  After the six-finger man, Antonio Alfonseca, recorded a strikeout, he was relieved by Felix Heredia who caught Tony Womack looking before inducing an Al Martin groundout to end the inning.

Millar off the hook.

Looking to atone for his error, Millar notched his first big-league hit when roped a single to center field off Rich Loiselle to start the ninth inning.  A Cliff Floyd single then moved him to second base, and he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Edgar Rentaria.

The next batter, Craig Counsell, plated Millar with a ground ball to shortstop to tie the game, 6-6.  That was all for the Marlins in the ninth, however, as the game went into extra innings.

He batted again in the top of the 10th, though it was much less eventful.  Following back-to-back strikeouts, Loiselle got Millar to line out to first base to end the inning.

With the pitcher’s spot up first for the Pirates in the bottom of the 10th, Jose Guillen was called upon to pinch hit.  The outfielder promptly delivered with a walk-off blast on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Millar batted .274/.358/.452 over his 12-year career while playing for the Marlins, Red Sox, Orioles and Blue Jays.  The right-handed hitter amassed 1,284 hits and 11.1 WAR, while winning World Series titles in 2003 (Marlins) and 2004 (Red Sox).

He currently pretends to enjoy working with Chris Rose on a daily basis.

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