Eric Miller seems to have always had a baseball in his hand

  Monday, October 14, 2013 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Eric Miller seems to have always had a baseball in his hand

“I played a lot of sports as a kid, but I loved baseball the most,” he says with a smile. “It might have had something to do with the fact that baseball was always what I was best at.”

A Pittsburg native, Eric found himself playing first in the J.L. Hutch league, then high school and finally  as a Pittsburg State Gorilla.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “You learn so much when you are part of a team. You learn how to work together with people you’ve never met and how to be successful as a team. These things are important on the field and in life. “

Miller enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career for the Gorillas, earning All-MIAA honors three times and Academic All-America honors twice. He was voted the 1994 GTE Academic All-America® of the Year and following his career he was enshrined in the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame in the Class of 2009.

Upon graduation, Eric would go on to flourish in a successful career as a tax lawyer.

Although he enjoyed his time in the tax law field, Eric could not help but wonder if there might be a way to get back onto the baseball field.

“My legal career was very fortuitous and fulfilling,” he says. “I loved practicing law, but Pittsburg kept pulling me back. I would tell my friends in Kansas City about Pittsburg and they found it hard to understand why I would want to come back. There’s just something special about the connection between this university and the community.”

Eric’s opportunity came in the form of a phone call to newly hired Pittsburg State head baseball coach, Matt Murray.

“I called Coach Murray up and explained to him who I was and that I’d love to join his staff as a volunteer coach,” Miller explained. “Luckily he didn’t hang up on me, and I owe him a lot for giving me this opportunity.”

Eric is again wearing the Gorilla uniform and became part of the Gorillas first trip to the post-season in nine years during the 2013 season.

“I look at the players we have on our team and I think … if I were 18 years old today, I wouldn’t have a shot at making this team,” he said. “These guys are just that much better. It’s incredible to see the difference in competition from the time when I played ball.”

When asked about his time back in uniform, Eric can’t help but smile.

“I’ve told a number of people over the past year that this has been the greatest year of my life,” he said with a smile. “I mean, how many people get to live the greatest year of their life when they’re 41? And I hope to do it again when I’m  42.”



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