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Northwest Mississippi to name baseball field after Jim Miles
 May 6, 2013


SENATOBIA, Miss. – The Northwest Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposal from Niles Norris at the March board meeting to name the college’s baseball field after Jim Miles.

“It’s a top honor for me,” Miles said. “Northwest means a lot to me and my family. I attended school here, all three of our children graduated here and my sister graduated here. So this place has been a part of me for almost all of my life.”

In 22 seasons as head coach at Northwest (1976-1997), Miles (right) led the Rangers to five region championships (1977, 1984, 1988, 1996, 1997), six state championships (1976, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986) and 10 north division titles. He finished his career with a total record of 556-304-3 (.646) and also led the Rangers to NJCAA World Series appearances in 1996 and 1997.

Miles was a five-time MJCAA and three-time MAC Coach of the Year selection. He was also named NJCAA Region 23 Coach of the Year in 1988 and ABCA Division II Region COTY in 1996.

In close to 30 years of playing and coaching baseball, Miles has many fond memories from Northwest and during his short professional career.

Miles played the 1962-63 seasons at Northwest and ended his college career at Delta State University where he played the 1964-65 seasons. He would later be inducted into the Northwest Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and Delta State Alumni Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998.

Miles was signed by the Washington Senators as an amateur free agent in 1966 and made his major league debut on September 7, 1968. The highlight of his two-year major league career and his personal claim to fame came during his first road trip to New York and old Yankee Stadium.

“When I was growing up, my favorite team was the Yankees for two reasons; they were winning all the time and Mickey Mantle was my boyhood idol,” Miles said. “I was called in to pitch in the first game of the trip in the 6th inning and before I knew it the bases were loaded and none other than Number 7 himself, Mickey Mantle, due up next. I had a sneaky little fast ball that tailed away from left-handed hitters and was able to strike him out on three pitches.”

Miles appeared in 13 career games for the Senators in 1968-69, playing his last MLB game on Sept. 9, 1969. He went 0-1 with a 7.30 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 24.2 innings of work.

Miles took over as head coach at Northwest in 1976 and had just two losing seasons in 22 years.

“Before I came to coach at Northwest, Gulf Coast had won the state championship 10 years in-a-row and no one had even challenged them,” Miles said. “When I got here my first year, we won it two years straight to knock them out of it. That is one of the greatest memories I had at Northwest in addition to the numerous state championships and other fond moments.”

The field will be called Jim Miles Field and a formal dedication will be held in conjunction with 2013 Homecoming activities on Saturday, October 5 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the baseball field.

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