Scott Miller Press Box Dedication - May 27, 2016
(Original story written by Austin Hawkins - 5/27/16)
This summer at Newman Outdoor Field will have a different air to it. Not because it is a new season with a fresh 100-game slate. Not because manager Doug Simunic has crafted a new roster comprised of both new and familiar faces. The 2016 season has a piece lacking from the puzzle – its voice. Scott Miller’s nearly four-year battle with cancer ended on February 25, 2016 with his family by his side and his absence will be greatly felt for years to come.
The lack of his presence behind the mic will not only be missed because of his patented tagline, “My oh My.” It will not only be missed because of his endearing manner and descriptive ability to make you feel as if you were sitting next to him at the game. You all knew him as “The Voice” of your favorite team, while those who worked with him knew him as one of the finest men you will ever meet. First class all the way, Scott was known for putting others before himself and genuinely cared about what was going on in their lives, even in his final days. KFGO radio personality Jack Sunday was visiting with him a week before he passed and was praising Scott for his career. He responded, “Good things have been happening at KFGO for a long time, and it’s because we all contribute and that’s why we are successful.”
A gentle, kind-hearted man of strong faith and conviction, he hardly ever cursed. When re-telling stories Scott would spell out the words letter by letter to omit profanity from his vocabulary. Scotty was a seasoned veteran who brought the game into your living room. He was comical without effort. His inherent calls seemed so natural, so simple at times, yet, we all gravitated towards our radios on his every word. RedHawks General Manager Josh Buchholz perhaps said it best, “We’ve had a major league broadcaster in our booth for the past decade. How many independent teams can say that? He’s the best.”
A 1976 graduate of Minot High School, Miller was a member of the Minot High Symphonic Choir and the Change of Pace singers, a pop singing group. He spent one year as a music student at Minot State before going to Washington State on a full-tuition scholarship and beginning his sports broadcasting career. Miller was the Montana Sportscaster of the Year during a three-year stop as Montana State's play-by-play voice, and he also called games for Idaho, Eastern Washington and Pacific Lutheran before spending four years at the University of North Dakota from 1992 to 1995.
Scott was twice awarded the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Broadcaster of the Year (2010 and 2011). He was a 2004 recipient of the North Central Conference Ed Kolpack Media Award in recognition of his contributions to the conference. He also called all five of NDSU's FCS National Championship games from 2011-2015 and the Bison NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament teams in 2009, 2014 and 2015.
Miller became the voice of the RedHawks in 2006 and called 10 seasons including the Northern League championships in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Scott called some of the most iconic moments in RedHawks history. He was the man behind the Jeremiah Piepkorn walk-off grand slam call that resounds its way through the confines of Newman Outdoor Field in the pre-game video each season.
"Scott was a gentleman and an immense talent in the radio booth," said RedHawks chairman Bruce Thom. "We are proud honor his memory and dedication to the RedHawks by naming the press box for him. He spent many hours there bringing baseball to our fans through the radio and it's a fitting tribute to his legacy with our organization."
The beloved radio personality of over 20 years called some of his best games while dealing with the harsh treatments of cancer. In 2015, Miller was only present for about half of the RedHawks games due to his health. Determined to come back, he made a push to return to the air and was behind the mic at the end of July. For a couple weeks former play-by-play man Jack Michaels and Scott shared the the broadcasts to ease the transition back. The games were moments the two will both cherish as they were close friends.
Scott called a pair of walk-off wins and Brandon Mann’s final push that eventually broke the American Association single-season strikeout record. The RedHawks went 21-8 over the last 30 days – a fitting way to end the season and though we did not know it at the time, Scott Miller’s tenure as the voice of the RedHawks. When sitting in your seat at Newman this summer, feel free to imagine Scott behind the microphone. If you see something spectacular, utter those three words – “My oh My.” And if you look up in the box – make sure to peer closely. You might see a flash of Scott, thumbs up and smiling with his headset secured snugly over his RedHawks’ hat.
RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said: "It's a huge loss for RedHawks fans and our organization. He was as professional as one could be in his approach to the job, and someone I respected and enjoyed working with. I will miss him and I know our fans will miss him."
The press box is named after him because that was his home and he’ll never leave. If you have seen the movie Field of Dreams, then you know that 'Baseball is played in heaven' - and they found their play-by-play guy.
2016 is for you, Scott. We miss and love you.
My oh My.