Horseshoes bringing Miller back to her hometown
Posted: 07/23/2012 at 6:40 pm
By: Steve Krah
Amy Miller is coming back to the area and she won’t be empty-handed.
Miller, who was born in Goshen grew up attending Fairfield and Goshen schools before moving to the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Hilliard in her teens, will be at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair as a third-generation horseshoe pitcher.
What will she be carrying with her Wednesday night during Class C competition?
Memories of her late father, Oris Miller; grandfather, Levi Miller Sr.; and uncle, Levi Miller Jr. She will also be toting the box and a two sets of shoes used by her dad and given to her by her stepmother, Glenn Miller of Goshen.
“If he could only see me now,” said Amy.
Her mother, Elkhartan Leona Miller, will be rooting Amy on.
Oris Miller, who owned Miller’s Paint and Body Shop in Goshen for many years, won his first horseshoe pitching trophy at the fair in the 1970s. Levi Miller Sr. was a two-time Florida state champion and a member of the Ohio State Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame.
Amy Miller remembers being around the clang of horseshoes growing up, but got the bug herself only three years ago.
“I’ve met some wonderful people in my new horseshoe family and, hopefully, we’ll be able to keep the sport alive for many years to come,” said Amy.
Levi Jr., who resided in Plant City, Ohio, got Amy started in a Wednesday night league in 2008 — the year before he passed way.
“I had hoped to get years of horseshoe stories from him as well as pointers for my game,” said Amy. “My father’s brothers, Melvin Miller and Mose Miller, of Sugarcreek, Ohio, still pitch from time to time.”
Darryl Miller, Levi Jr.’s son, carries a ringer percentage of 54. He lives in Plant City and runs his own league in Marysville, Ohio.
“It will take me a long time before I can beat (Darryl) in a game,” said Amy, the only female pitcher in the family, who has been given the nickname “Miller Lite.”
Amy has become so involved in the game that she now regularly pitches two days a week during the summer season and she has already placed third then second in her first two Ohio state tournaments. The 2012 event is Labor Day weekend in Greenville.
“Why not first place this time?,” said Amy, who is vice president of the Hilliard Horseshoe Club and editor of the Ohio Horseshoe Pitchers Association newsletter.
The Hilliard league supports the idea that horseshoes provide exercise, camaraderie, competition and can be a lifetime family sport.