Fourth- or fifth-string catcher Corky Miller of the Cincinnati Reds represents everything that is good about baseball. He’s now in professional season No. 17, currently listed on the DL for the Reds’ triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats; he’s appeared in 216 major-league games. When compared to his 1,062 minor league, it’s safe to assume he’s playing for the love of baseball. Miller will play until his body breaks, or until an outside entity decides to quit the game for him.
Miller’s 1,062 career minor-league games have been spent mostly in the Reds’ organization. Of those 1,062 games, 548 have been with Reds’ triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats. That leaves 514 games played riding buses of teams other than Louisville. His 548 games played for Louisville are the most in franchise history.
Let’s get ultra-specific for a second. Miller’s been a member of the Louisville club 32 more games than any other baseball team. However, in 2001 — his first year in Louisville — their official name was Louisville RiverBats. Miller played 44 games for the RiverBats. On an ever so slight technicality, he cannot say, with total honesty, that he has spent the majority of his games played as a member of the Louisville Bats. Miller is 13 games short.
Now for some sad news. The Bats have Miller listed on the seven-day disabled list. With no action since May 18, his Louisville career seems as in jeopardy.
Entering the 2014 campaign, he knew he would be the primary backup to Reds’ top catching prospect Tucker Barnhart. Miller obviously accepted this scenario, willing to get spot starts about once a week while tutoring the 23-year-old prospect. In mid-May, the organization decided to call 27-year-old Bryan Anderson from double-A Pensacola to join the triple-A club.
Miller was forced out of the lineup and onto the disabled list with some sort of phantom injury just 13 games before he would officially be able to say he spent the majority of his career in a Louisville Bats uniform. Fans of all teams, of all sports, of life in general, should petition the Reds’ brass demanding justice. Give Corky his 13 games!