Northampton baseball field to be dedicated to major leaguer Stu Miller

Last modified: Thursday, September 17, 2015
NORTHAMPTON — Fans of America’s pastime can hear stories Sunday about a Northampton native who pitched his way to fame and a World Series title.

The city’s Parks & Recreation Commission will dedicate the ballfield at Veterans’ Field to Stu Miller, a former Major League Baseball pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants, who grew up in Northampton.

The event starts at 11 a.m. at the field at 90 West St.

Speakers will include Mayor David Narkewicz and Tom Parent, the commission chairman.

Two of Miller’s cousins, Nanette Clark of Chesterfield and Darleen LaFond of Florence, will be present to sell copies of their self-published book, “Stu Miller: Northampton Baseball Legend: The Changeup Champ.”

Miller died in January at his home in California at the age of 87. His baseball talent was discovered when Cardinals scouts came on a recruiting trip to Kearney Field in Northampton. Miller joined the team in 1948 and played in the major leagues from 1952 to 1968, winning a championship with the Orioles in 1966.

Clark said she and her sisters grew up next door to the Miller family in the Marshall Street and Hubbard Avenue area during the Depression and 1940s.

Their book recounts neighborhood life for the future major leaguer. “We have a lot of old family pictures and also stories about Stu that nobody knows but us,” Clark said. Members of the Miller family also contributed stories about the pitcher.

The 91-page illustrated book costs $15 and can be purchased at Sunday’s event or ordered by calling Clark at 296-4743.

Rich Szlosek, an amateur Northampton historian who helped advocate for the field’s dedication, wrote the book’s foreword, calling the volume, “an interesting collection of remembrances of what it was like to grow up in a small city during the Depression.”

Sunday’s ceremony will be followed by a fall league baseball game.