The Curious Case of Damian Miller’s Exclusion from MLB Video Games – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2022-06-02 09:51:18 –

I may be prejudiced, but when thinking about the average MLB catcher, the first name that comes to mind is Damian Miller. It’s probably due to the fact that Miller was the first catcher to see Milwaukee Brewers as a fast-growing baseball fan.

Despite my prejudice, Miller’s play with diamonds confirms this observation. He is a powerful defender with above average arms and a solid bat, and has built an 11-year career with five ball clubs. This is all the qualities you would expect from a veteran catcher.

Miller fit into the classic type of Major League Baseball backstop, but his career was unusual.

West Salem, Wisconsin was the first catcher of the Diamondbacks to win the World Series in 2001 and was an All-Star the following year.

For Brewers fans, he is remembered in the club’s record of seven RBI matches with Pittsburgh in 2007 and his role in Brewers’ 5 homer innings (MLB record) against Cincinnati in the 2006 season. ..

Perhaps Miller’s most fascinating feat is focused on what he didn’t do, not what he did. Appears in MLB video games.

A few weeks ago, I discovered this peculiarity at a friend’s house while playing the classic MVP Baseball 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube. We played between two local clubs. His San Francisco Giants vs. my beloved Brewers.

Ben Sheets was on the crew’s mound, ending his career with 264 strikeouts and 2.70 ERA. The middle of the order was fixed by a line of murderers Lyle Overbay, Carlos Lee and Geoff Jenkins.

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Mediocre ’00s

Reading the lineup, there were more familiar names that reminded me of the mediocrity of the 2000s team — Russell Branyon, Junior Spivey, Brady Clark. Then came a completely foreign thing, Roger Chamberlain.

I’m eight years old shortly after the opening day in 2005, so I don’t have a perfect memory of the Brewers roster that year, but I think I remembered the Brewers catchers who weren’t named Chad Moeller or Damian Miller.

A quick look at my baseball card and a search for Baseball Reference confirmed my suspicions. Roger Chamberlain was not a real baseball player. This mystery deserves an answer.

To find out the answer behind Damian Miller’s exclusion from MLB video games, more than a quarter of a century ago, in the 1994 MLB season, Tony Gwynn, the Montreal Expo, and the year of the strike that almost destroyed sports. I have to go back.

After the MLB collective bargaining agreement expired on December 31, 1993, sparse negotiations between players and owners defined the 1994 season. The two remain quite far apart, and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) has decided August 12, 1994 as the date of the strike.

Stop the season!

The team played the game on August 11th, but arrived the next day without a contract and began to suspend work after the 1994 season. With a batting average of .394 at the time, Tony Gwynn was unable to compete in the .400 season, and Montreal Expo, who enjoyed the best campaign in franchise history, was deprived of the possibility of a World Series berth.

As the off-season progressed, players and owners were still unable to reach a compromise, jeopardizing the 1995 campaign.

To start the season on time, Major League Baseball has approved the use of substitutes. Players who do not currently have a contract with the MLB team, that is, who are outside MLBPA, can choose to become alternative players.

This decision came with consequences. The strike gave the minor leaguers the opportunity to reach the majors and receive a handsome salary, but once they crossed the picket line, they could no longer join the MLBPA and player unions and gain the contempt of fellow ball players. I was able to do it.

The substitute has never seen a diamond. A few hours before the opening day, an agreement was reached between the players’ union and the owners and the lockout ended.

The substitutes paid a price for their actions. They weren’t allowed to participate in MLB PA, so they couldn’t use their names and portraits on official MLB-sponsored products, such as commemorative items and video games.

For years after the strike, the MLB video game roster was being bullied by another type of replacement player.

Damian Miller was not included in the official product celebrating the 2001 Diamondbacks World Series victory. He also did not appear in MLB video games during his career.

In MVP Baseball 2005, Miller was replaced by Roger Chamberlain. In Major League Baseball 2K5, Wisconsin was replaced by a fictional backstop, Jeff Holton.

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MVP Baseball 2005 also excluded, among other things, Kevin Millar, who won the World Series at the Boston Red Sox in 2004, and Barry Bonds, a superstar slugger.

Millar crossed the picket line with Miller in 1995, but Bonds chose to withdraw from the MLBPA license agreement in 2003, believing that they could make more money with an independent sponsorship agreement. did.

Miller and Miller were two of the few substitutes who had a meaningful career after the strike. The 103 players who crossed the picket line consisted of a washed-out veterinarian or a forgotten minor leaguer. All of this had nothing to lose. The increased relevance between mirrors was much more impressive.

MLB video games used alternative players until the 2010 season, when the last two active players who crossed the picket line in 1995, Brendan Donnelly and Ron Mahay, played the last game.

The 1994/95 strike battle was almost forgotten after the retirement of the people involved, but by scrutinizing the careers of players like Damian Miller, the strange era of professional baseball from the not too distant past I can remember.

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