Former MLB Pitcher Justin Miller Found Dead at Age 35
Former major league pitcher Justin Miller, whose career spanned parts of seven seasons, was found dead in Palm Harbor, Fla., on Wednesday.
He was 35.
According to the Tampa Bay Times' Matt McKinney, Miller's body was around 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening. The Pinellas County Sheriff's department is still investigating the case, and there is no cause of death known at this time.
Investigators declined to say where Miller's body was found. He has been a resident of Palm Harbor since 2002, per the report.
Sosnick Cobbe Sports, the agency that represented Miller during his playing career, tweeted out their condolences when hearing of his passing:
Our sincere condolences go out to the family of former RHP Justin Miller, who has passed away. Justin was 35 years old & a loyal friend.— Sosnick Cobbe Sports (@SosnickCobbe) June 29, 2013
Miller's career in Major League Baseball, which lasted sporadic stints from 2002-2010, began with the Toronto Blue Jays. As a rookie in 2002, Miller compiled a 9-5 record while making 18 starts in Toronto. He subsequently missed the 2003 season with an injury, returning to the rotation in 2004 to lesser success.
As noted by Fox Sports, Miller is perhaps best known for a Major League Baseball rule that invokes his name. In 2004, the commissioner's office forced Miller to wear sleeves while pitching because his tattoos distracted batters while at the plate.
Spending most of 2005 and 2006 between the minor leagues and overseas, Miller resurfaced with the Miami Marlins in 2007 as a reliever, finding his greatest major league success. He went 5-0 with a 3.65 ERA and struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings, emerging as a vital cog in late innings for the Marlins. His career in Miami ended after the 2008 season.
Miller's MLB career finished with a stint with the San Francisco Giants in 2009 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. His major league career concluded with a 24-14 record and 4.82 ERA. Miller also spent time in the minor league systems of the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.
After his playing career ended, Miller founded a personal training and baseball facility, where he helped young players fine-tune their game.
He is survived by his wife, Jessica, of 15 years and their two sons.
"I think he'd want the world to know that he always did his best at work and at being a dad," Jessica Miller said to the Tampa Bay Times. "He always tried."
Our thoughts are with Miller and his family during their time of mourning.
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