Ex-Sox OF to play at Champions Tour event


CONCORD, Mass. (AP) – Former Red Sox outfielder Rick Miller is a little nervous about going back in front of the Boston fans.

“It’s totally different in golf because the crowd is so quiet,” he said Monday about a golf competition among ex-major leaguers to be held at the Champions Tour event here. “I’d rather they cheer and make some noise and call me a bum. I’d be back in my element.”

The 1978 gold glove-winner will have to adjust when he plays in the Swing with the Legends tournament within a tournament at the Bank of America Championship from June 9 to 11.

Twelve former big leaguers – including Miller and Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Bill Mazeroski – will play alongside professional golfers, including Arnold Palmer.

“They’re really doing it for the fun,” tournament director Tracy West said. “It gives them a chance to play alongside their own legends from golf.”

Defending champion Mark McNulty leads a field that also is expected to include Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tom Kite and Craig Stadler. Former baseball All-Star Rick Rhoden is in the tournament field thanks to a sponsor’s exemption, but the rest of the ballplayers will be sprinkled among the golfers and playing for a trophy of their own.

Former baseball players Bob Tewksbury, Bobby Grich, Kevin Bass, Doug DeCinces, Jim Perry and Bob Knepper have also committed to play.

They’ll play the first round on Friday at a different course, then play in threesomes with two Champions Tour golfers on Saturday. On Sunday, the top six ballplayers will be grouped into two threesomes in the last seven groups of the main tournament.

The tournament at Nashawtuc Country Club held a similar event with NHL players in 2003 but didn’t repeat it because of the looming lockout.

Miller played parts of 15 seasons in the majors for the Red Sox and California Angels, batting .269 with 28 homers and 369 RBIs. He played in the 1975 World Series when Boston lost to Bench’s Cincinnati Reds.

“I’ve played in a couple of tournaments before and it’s pretty nerve-racking,” said Miller, who was a single-digit handicap in his prime but is now somewhere around 12. “Baseball, you play it all the time and you’ve got confidence in what you do. I’ve been playing golf a little bit lately, but it’s a little scary.”