Felix Millan was known for his low crouchi9ng batting stance and choked up on the bat handle. Played well for the Mets, did the little things well. Hit well to the opposite field, showed up to play everyday.
Millán, nicknamed “The Kitten” (“El Gatito” in Spanish), born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, made his major league debut on June 2, 1966 with the Atlanta Braves, and played for Atlanta until 1973. Millan was primarily a second baseman. He played in two All-Star Games, the first in 1969 and the second in 1971; in 1970 he was named an All-Star, but was unable to participate due to injuries. In 1973, he was traded to the New York Mets, for which he played until 1977. In 1975 he became the first Met to appear in all 162 games during the season. He played for a total of 12 years. His first game was June 2, 1966 for the Atlanta Braves and his final game was August 12, 1977 for the New York Mets. He was forced to retire after sustaining a shoulder injury during an on-field brawl in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ed Ott slid hard into Millán trying to break up a double play, Millán shouted at Ott and hit him with a baseball in his hand, and Ott answered by slamming him hard to the turf at Three Rivers Stadium, severely injuring his shoulder.
On July 21, 1975, Joe Torre set a record for most double-plays grounded into in a single game (4), with Millán on first ahead of Torre. Millán had singled in all four of his at-bats. Torre said, “I’d like to thank Félix Millán for making all of this possible.”
Millán’s 1976 Topps baseball card, #245, shows his unusual stance, as he choked up almost halfway on the bat.
Millán also played for three seasons in the Japanese Central League after leaving the majors. He joined the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1978, after the Whales bought his contract from the Mets, and played alongside Skip James. He won the batting title in his second year in Japan (1979) with a .346 batting average, and was given the Best Nine Award. He won the title with only 126 hits, barely having enough at-bats to qualify for the title. He did not play well the next year, and was released by the Whales after the 1980 season. In his three years in Japan, he had only 52 strikeouts in 1139 at-bats.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights …Felix Millan
|June 2, 1966 for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 12, 1977 for the New York Mets|
|Runs batted in||403|
|Career highlights and awards|