Opening Day, April 1, 2013 is 27 days away. There have been one hundred walk off home runs in Angels history. This is the story of #27, a fifteenth inning blast by Halo shortstop and former LSU Quarterback Mike Miley.
August 19, 1975 - In the top of the first inning, future Hall of Famer Hank Aaron drove in future Hall of Famer Robin Yount on a sacrifice fly off of Frank Tanana. The Angels answered with two in the bottom of the first off of Milwaukee's Jim Colborn. Each starter would be responsible for four runs and the tie game would go into extra innings.
Tanana would go twelve innings against the Brewers and Coborn would log in eleven against the Halos. Mickey Scott pitched three in relief of Tanana and Rick Austin entered the bottom of the fifteenth beginning his fourth inning on them mound for the Brewers, But the box score doesn't record Austin pitching more than three innings.
The first batter Austin faced in the bottom of the fifteenth inning was light-hitting Angels Short Stop Mike Miley. The infielder hit a tie-breaking extra inning walk off home run. Final Score: Angels 5, Brewers 4.
Mike Miley hit four home runs in the 1975 season. This was his third. He would never hit a fifth in the big leagues. he spent most of 1976 in the minors and was killed in a car accident on January 6, 1977. Miley had been drafted in 1971 out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds. He opted to go to LSU where he played Quarterback, losing the 1974 Orange Bowl 16-9 against Penn State. The Angels drafted him that June and he avoided his senior season and went with the Halos.
He played 70 games in 1975 and another 14 at the tail end of 1976. He batted .176 in his career but stats show that the 1976 season spent mostly in the minors had drastically improved his defense.
Here is NEWS COVERAGE of his death. There was no ESPN, no internet, just an article and a moment of silence to start the 1977 season. His jersey number 21 was worn the next season. Miley was one of four Angels to die while on the forty man roster, along with Dick Wantz, Lyman Bostock and Nick Adenhart.