About the author
Author Phil Eck
Photo by Bill Brockschmidt
Phil Eck was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois. After graduating from Springfield High School and Quincy University, he returned to his hometown to teach for the last thirty-one years in the physical education department at his alma mater. A soccer player in both high school and college, he truly enjoyed being head coach at Springfield High for twenty-two seasons, winning the Illinois Class A state soccer championship in 1997. Phil and his wife Shirley reside in Springfield and are parents of three boys, Michael, Dan and Marcus.
“A spirit left Milwaukee when he died that has never been replaced.”
author Bob Buege reminiscing about Fred Miller
A Comment from the Author
In April of 2007, I received a note from my Aunt Gail. Gail Marguerite Miller Wray is Fred Miller's fifth oldest child and my godmother. The note was an invitation to attend the fiftieth-year reunion of the 1957 World Series champions Milwaukee Braves. Of course, I accepted with much excitement and anticipation.
In a subsequent phone call, Aunt Gail asked me to put together a speech for her, emphasizing Fred Miller’s involvement with the Braves. Unfortunately, the news articles that I read concerning Fred Miller and his involvement with the Braves did not contain many details. The articles merely stated that Fred Miller was instrumental in bringing the Braves to Milwaukee or that Fred Miller was the driving force in getting County Stadium built. His involvement had been reduced to just these words: “instrumental and driving force.” But what did this mean? I realized there was so much I didn’t know about my grandfather, and I was motivated to discover it.
All-in-all, I would have to say that the most fulfilling part of my years of research were the family stories. In addition to the personal stories from people who knew Fred Miller, I spent countless hours at the MillerCoors archives, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee archives and the Notre Dame archives. There I unearthed many facts that allowed me to step back into time and learn more about the accomplished life of Fred Miller.
There are three people that I personally must thank for their efforts with this story. Dave Herrewig provided countless documents about Fred Miller and Miller Brewing Company. Kay Eck supported me with much needed artistic and literary advice. My wife Shirley was with me every step of the way.
In closing, I would like to thank the entire “Miller Family.” You have given me the strength, courage and support to write this book.