Oct. 24, 2005
NOTE: In honor of the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony this Saturday, Oct. 29, msuspartans.com will take an in-depth look at each of the five honorees throughout this week. Today is a look at Blake Miller.
BLAKE MILLER (FOOTBALL: 1912-15)
By Ashley Johnson, MSU Sports Information
Blake Miller is one of eight people to have received nine varsity letters during his time at MSU from 1912-15. He will be inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame this weekend, along with Herb Odom (boxing, 1951-55), Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse (diving, 1988-91), Gene Kenney (soccer coach, 1956-69) and John Fuzak (faculty representative, 1959-79).
A member of the football team for four years, baseball for three years, and basketball for two years, Miller excelled most on the football field. Following his four years, Miller was remembered as "an exceptionally brilliant and sensational open field runner on the football teams of four seasons, '12 to '15, besides starring in baseball. He helped to defeat Michigan at football in '13 and '15, and pitched in winning games over her in baseball. His last year he was captain of the eleven and was mentioned by Eckersal for All Western Honors. He is probably as brainy and fast-thinking an athlete as M. A. C. has known."
During his first season at M. A. C., Miller made his mark on university history by being the first player to score a touchdown against archrival Michigan. Although the team went on to lose the game, 55-7, the season was otherwise successful with a 7-1 record.
Miller was also a part of the history-making 1913 team, which was the first football team in school history to record an undefeated, untied season. Along the way to its undefeated season, M. A. C. defeated Michigan and defending Western Conference champion Wisconsin.
Following the success of the 1913 season, Miller was named to the All-Western Team, an accomplishment he repeated in 1914.
In his final season, Miller captained the 1915 team and led the team to another win against Michigan. That same season, Miller, along with teammate Jerry Daprato, was named MSU's first ever All-American, honoring everything he had worked so hard for.
Upon his graduation from M. A. C. Miller played six years of pro ball in Detroit, then spent two years in the army. He was a golf pro at the Lansing Country Club for 10 years and worked in the gravel, investment, construction and insurance businesses, before retiring with wife Dorothy in Dewitt in 1958.
In recognition of his excellence, Miller was named in 1969 as an end on MSU's all-time Old-Timer's Team.
Years later Miller would recall the importance of both the school and the team.
"Sure we played for each other, but more than that we played for the school," Miller said to George Alderton on Sept. 8, 1961. "We thought of nothing else. Publicity and attention on the campus or the street meant little or nothing really. It always seemed to me that the school was--well, just everything."