The second time around, Nashua felt like the right place for Rick Miller.
"The Pride first contacted me about 10 years ago when they were just starting up again," remembered Miller. "But, back then, it didn't seem like the right time for me. But this time they contacted me to see if I was available, and it just felt like the right time."
Tomorrow night, the former Red Sox outfielder will kick off his first season as manager of the Pride when they open their season against the Brockton Rox at Holman Stadium.
"I'm looking forward to beginning the season," he said. "We only had 12 days of spring training to get ready. But it seems to have worked out fine."
Despite entering his first season as a manager, Miller knows a little something about preparing for a baseball season. After all, he spent 15 seasons in the major leagues as an outfielder.
After starring at Michigan State, Miller was selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 1969 draft. He reached the majors in 1971 and spent all or part of seven seasons in Boston, playing in 629 regular season games. He also appeared in three games in the historic 1975 World Series, when the Red Sox fell to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games.
Following the 1977 season, Miller signed with the then-California Angels. In 1978, the outfielder won a Golden Glove, along with former Red Sox teammates Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans. In 1979 he put together his best offensive season, hitting .293 with 28 RBIs and 60 runs. Be he found himself missing his former home.
"California was a great place for weather," he said. "But the fans there weren't as rabid as Boston fans. It was like they were going to a movie. ... After the (1980) season (then Angels general manager and future Red Sox GM) Mike Port told me I was traded. I had to ask him where I was traded, he told me Boston and I just said 'All right!'"