Colonel Buster Mills (September 16, 1908 – December 1, 1991) was an American outfielder, coach, scout and interim manager in Major League Baseball. A native of Ranger, Texas, Mills received a degree in geology from the University of Oklahoma in 1931. In his playing days he stood 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in (1.82 m) (181.6 cm) tall, weighed 195 pounds (88.5 kg), and threw and batted righthanded.
Mills came through the extensive St. Louis Cardinals farm system during the early 1930s, receiving a 29-game trial with the 1934 "Gashouse Gang" Cardinals and then a 17-game tryout with the 1935 Brooklyn Dodgers. He played the rest of his MLB career in the American League for the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians (1937–40; 1942; 1946). Overall, he played in 415 games, and compiled a lifetime batting average of .287 with 14 home runs and 163 runs batted in. In 1940, Mills batted .397 in 63 at bats for the Yankees, largely as a pinch hitter.
After military service in World War II, Mills became a coach for the Indians (1946), Chicago White Sox (1947–50), Cincinnati Redlegs (1953) and Red Sox (1954) and managed in minor league baseball. He was the interim manager of the 1953 Redlegs, finishing the unexpired term of Rogers Hornsby, who resigned late in the season. Mills' record in Cincinnati was 4–4 (.500).
After his coaching career, Mills spent many seasons as a scout for the Yankees. He died in Arlington, Texas, at the age of 83.
- ^ The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. 1-4027-4771-3. 2007. p. 744.
By Dean Hanley
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