Reds share news of former outfielder Milner's passing
CINCINNATI -- Former Reds player Eddie Milner, a speedy outfielder during the 1980s, died at the age of 60. The team, which announced the news on Wednesday morning, said that Milner passed away on Monday. A cause of death was not revealed.
Milner played 804 games in the Major Leagues from 1980-88, with seven of those seasons being in Cincinnati. He was traded to the Giants in 1987, but he returned to the Reds as a free agent for his final season in '88.
"I'm so sad about the passing of my great friend and teammate," former Reds reliever and teammate Tom Hume posted on Twitter. "A true God fearing man. So committed to the game of baseball. I will miss the big smile he always had. No matter if he was happy or sad, [you] never knew."
Milner was a .253/.333/.376 career hitter. His best overall season came for a last-place Cincinnati club in 1983, when he batted .261 with nine home runs while stealing a career-high 41 bases while also playing a career-most 146 games.
A Columbus, Ohio, native, Milner was a 21st-round pick of the Reds in the 1976 Draft.
Before Opening Day in 1988, Milner was suspended for half of the season because of drugs and played only 23 games that year. According to the Society of Baseball Research (SABR), he became an ordained minister in 1997 and spoke openly about his battles during recovery.
"The enemy is going to attack. I just don't have the devil as my enemy, I have myself," Milner was quoted as saying in a SABR biography. "It doesn't always come at you from a physical standpoint. It can come at you mentally and emotionally.
"I tell them not to forget the past, to remember it so we can make better decisions in the future. I still attend NA and AA meetings. I try to stick around baseball. I do some construction jobs. It's all part of my recovery that I put into God's hands."
According to the Reds Hall of Fame, Milner made multiple appearances at the museum in recent years and at chapter events around the region. In January 2015, Milner served as a coach at Reds Fantasy Camp in Goodyear, Ariz.