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Famous Shortstop Roy McMillan Dies

November 2, 1997

BONHAM, Texas (AP) _ Roy McMillan, whose sure glove at shortstop won the first three Gold Gloves awarded at the position, died Sunday at 68.

McMillan died at Northeast Medical Center in Bonham after he collapsed Sunday morning in his kitchen.

McMillan had just awakened, put on the coffee and smoked his first cigarette of the day, said longtime friend Bill Turnage. Jody Lawrence McMillan, McMillan’s wife of 45 years, awakened soon after her husband and found him unconscious on the kitchen floor.

``Jody didn’t like the smell of smoke, so he’d get up a little before her, put the coffee on and go out on the back porch to smoke a cigarette,″ Turnage said. ``We’re assuming that his heart had failed him.″

Turnage said Mrs. McMillan, who works for his agriculture supply company, told him that her husband had not been feeling well in recent weeks.

McMillan was a Bonham-area native who maintained his off-season home in the Northeast Texas city of 6,900 residents throughout his baseball career.

McMillan was the classic heady glove man with good range and an excellent arm who lacked much offensive punch. Playing from 1951-66, the first 10 seasons with Cincinnati, he batted .243 with 68 home runs and 594 RBIs.

He won the Gold Glove at shortstop from 1957-59 and was a National League All-Star in 1956 and ’57.

His best years were with the Redlegs, as the Reds were called then. He and second baseman Johnny Temple formed one of the best double-play combinations of the 1950s in the National League.

In 1954, McMillan set a league season record with 129 double plays, a record that stood until Montreal’s Bobby Wine turned 137 in 1970.

He also was durable; his NL record for consecutive games played at shortstop _ 584 games from 1951-55 _ still stands.

Before the 1961 season, the Reds traded McMillan to the Milwaukee Braves for pitcher Joey Jay, whose 21 wins in 1961 helped the Reds to their first league title in 21 years.

McMillan concluded his playing career with the New York Mets in 1964-66. Afterward, he became a scout and manager in the Milwaukee and Mets organizations, becoming interim Mets manager for the final 53 games of the 1975 season after Yogi Berra’s firing.

Under McMillan’s supervision, the team climbed to within four games of first-place Pittsburgh on Sept. 1 before losing 16 of its last 26 games.

McMillan was a scout in the Montreal Expos organization at the time of his death.

He was a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame and the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame.

Other survivors include a son, Marty McMillan of Bonham; a daughter, Patsy McMillan Richardson of Bonham; two brothers, Robert McMillan of Euless, Texas, and Newman McMillan of Albany, Ga.; a sister, Geraldine Trostel of Arlington, Texas; and three grandchildren.

The funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at Wise Funeral Home in Bonham, with burial in Willow Wild Cemetery in Bonham.

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