We don't spend a lot of time covering players transactions, but here's a noteworthy one: Kevin Millar is returning to the St. Paul Saints after a 12-year Major League career.We don't spend a lot of time covering players transactions, but here's a noteworthy one: Kevin Millar is returning to the St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) 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 with the Kane County Cougars (Low Class A; Midwest League). We expect Millar to be an asset on the field as well: he was one of the last cuts made by the Chicago Cubs this spring after performing admirably in spring training.
More important than that, Millar, as a player overlooked by scouts, helped give independent ball credibility as a serious source of players. There had been attempts at independent baseball before the revival of the Northern League, but by and large they had failed. With the Saints drawing huge crowds at the end of that inaugural season, indy ball established legitimacy, and Millar was a big part of that.
"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.
If you're in the area, take note of the team's schedule. The team is playing a pair of games at two pretty cool facilities this weekend. On Saturday, the Saints are at Chaska Athletic Park, a charming 1950 wooden-grandstand ballpark that's home to amateur baseball and state high-school tournament games. On Sunday, the Saints are at Veterans Field, a two-year-old facility that's home to the Minnetonka High School Skppers and amateur baseball. We're a little biased toward Veterans Field: it's within walking distance of August Publications headquarters.
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