Author: Norm Miller
Publisher: Double Play Productions
Genre/Market: Sports (Baseball), Autobiography
Publication Date: November 2009
Book Length: 202 pages
Like a Norm Miller hit, To all my fans … from Norm Who? reads like a sharp line drive. Written at a brisk pace, the chapters are short and the book reads quickly. It includes lots of great “inside baseball” stories from Miller’s major and minor league careers.
Miller enjoyed a long playing career, much of it in the minor leagues. His major league tenure was sporadic, and marred by injuries. Despite this, Miller lived his baseball life to the fullest. Miller recounts include his first hit, the opening of the Astro Dome, and his injury just days before his before wedding.
The book also includes humorous anecdotes about the off-field sexual conquests of players, Spring Training hi jinks and post-game parties. Given the nature of the tales, the book includes a fair amount of blue language. Take for example, Miller's closing thoughts: “Thanks to all you pitchers that threw me high fast balls. And f-ck all you curve ball pitchers. I hope your arms have fallen off.” I didn’t find the f-bombs particularly offensive, but some readers may.
Of particular interest to Jewish baseball collectors, Miller remembers a bar fight in which he was involved. During the fracas, teammate Don Wilson referred to Miller as a “f-cking Jew” and teammates shouted “kill the Jew.” Despite the incident, Miller says he experienced “absolutely no prejudice.” Of the chants, Miller says: “that's just my teammates being humorous.” I'm not sure I feel the same as Miller does, but I'll take him at his word.
Miller also offers several remembrances of pitcher Sandy Koufax (who he never faced, but described a “basically un-hittable”) and an encounter with broadcaster and MOT Howard Cosell.
The book closes with Miller reflecting on his career — and the greatest players with whom he was associated — during his drive home to Texas from Atlanta, where he finished his playing career.
Personally, I would have liked Miller to have shared more about his life and career after his playing days. According to his biographies in the Big Book and Jewish Baseball, Miller worked for the Astros in marketing and sales. I would have loved to known more about the inner workings of the club from Miller’s perspective.
Miller is a willing through the mail signer, and is currently mounting a book tour. Collectors interested in learning more should visit www.NormWho.com. Miller created a business card that he uses to promote sales of his autobiography. These cards make an interesting piece of ephemera for collectors.
In addition to his book, Miller’s other collectibles include a 2003 Jewish Major Leaguers card (#98) and Topps cards in the 1968 through 1974 sets. The latter are readily available on Beckett and eBay, selling for a few dollars or less, depending on condition.
What Norm Miller collectibles do you have in your collection?