Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

Infobox MLB retired

caption=Joe Morgan with the Cincinnati Reds.
name=Joe Morgan
position=Second baseman
birthdate=birth date and age|1943|9|19
debutdate=September 21
debutteam=Houston Colt .45's
finaldate=September 30
finalteam=Oakland Athletics
stat1label=Batting average
stat3label=Home runs
* Houston Colt .45's / Astros (by|1963-by|1971, by|1980)
* Cincinnati Reds (by|1972-by|1979)
* San Francisco Giants (by|1981-by|1982)
* Philadelphia Phillies (by|1983)
* Oakland Athletics (by|1984)
* 10x All-Star selection (1966, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)
* 2x World Series champion (1975, 1976)
* 2x NL MVP (1975, 1976)
* 1972 MLB All-Star Game MVP
* 1982 NL Comeback Player of the Year
* Cincinnati Reds #8 retired
hofvote=81.8% (first ballot)

Joe Leonard Morgan (born September 19, 1943 in Bonham, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. Morgan is currently a commentator for ESPN television and radio.

Playing career

Raised in Oakland, Morgan was a standout at Castlemont High School before being signed by the Houston Colt .45's as an amateur free agent in by|1962. Early in his career, Morgan had trouble with his swing because he kept his back elbow down too low. Teammate Nellie Fox suggested to Joe that while at the plate he should flap his back arm like a chicken to keep his elbow up. Morgan followed the advice, and his flapping arm became a familiar sight to baseball fans.

Cincinnati Reds

Although Morgan played with distinction for Houston, the Astros wanted more power in their lineup. Additionally, manager Harry Walker considered Morgan a troublemaker.cite book |title=The Team-by-Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball |last=Purdy |first=Dennis |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=2006 |publisher=Workman |location=New York City |isbn=0761139435 |pages= ]

As a result they traded Morgan to the Cincinnati Reds as part of a blockbuster multi-player deal on November 29, 1971, announced at baseball's winter meetings. While the Astros got power-hitting Lee May, the deal is now considered one of the most one-sided trades in baseball history. To this day it is considered an epoch-making deal for Cincinnati and one of the worst trades in Astros' history. Included in the deal to the Reds were César Gerónimo (who became their regular center fielder) and Jack Billingham, who soon joined the Reds pitching rotation as a leading starter. Veteran infielder, Dennis Menke along with outfielder Ed Armbrister. In addition to May, all star second baseman, Tommy Helms and outfielder/pinch hitter, Jimmy Stewart went to the Astros. The deal facilitated a shift in Reds team philosophy towards speed over power, with Morgan and outfielder Pete Rose now two key figures batting back-to-back. Morgan added unusual home run power (at that time) for a second baseman to outstanding speed on the basepaths and excellent defense.

After joining The Big Red Machine, Morgan's career reached a new level. This includes eight consecutive All-Star Game appearances (1972-1979) to go along with his 1966 and 1970 appearances with Houston.

Morgan, along with teammates Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez, and Dave Concepción, led the Reds to consecutive championships in the World Series. He drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 1975 World Series, now ranked as one of the greatest World Series of all time. Morgan was also the National League MVP in by|1975 and by|1976. He was the first second baseman in the history of the National League to win the MVP back to back. [Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.152, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0]

Morgan was an extremely capable batter -- especially in clutch situations. While his lifetime average was only .271, he hit between .288 and .327 during his peak years with the Reds. Additionally, he drew many walks, resulting in an excellent .392 on base percentage. He also hit 268 home runs to go with 449 doubles and 96 triples, excellent power for a middle infielder of his era, and was considered by some the finest base stealer of his generation (689 steals at greater than 80% success rate). Besides his prowess at the plate and on the bases, Morgan was an exceptional infielder, and captured the Gold Glove Award from by|1972 to by|1976.

After his career ended, he was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in by|1987, and his jersey number 8 was retired.

Later career

In by|1980, he returned to Houston to help the young Astros win the NL West. The Astros then lost the National League Championship Series to the Philadelphia Phillies. Morgan went to the San Francisco Giants for the next two seasons. It was his home run in the last game of the by|1982 season that eliminated the Dodgers from the division race. He won the 1982 Willie Mac Award for his spirit and leadership. Then, he went to the Phillies where he rejoined ex-teammates Pete Rose, and Tony Pérez. After losing to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series, Morgan finished his career with the Oakland Athletics.

In the "New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract", Bill James named Morgan the best second baseman in baseball history, ahead of #2 Eddie Collins and #3 Rogers Hornsby. He also named Morgan as the "greatest percentages player in baseball history," due to his strong fielding percentage, stolen base percentage, walk-to-strikeout ratio, and walks per plate appearance. That data was shown with the caveat that many players in baseball history could not be included in the formula due to lack of data. [Bill James, "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract" (Washington: Simon & Shuster, 2001), 479-481.]

In by|1996, Ryne Sandberg came out of retirement and the next year broke Morgan's record for most home runs by a second baseman. Morgan was notably absent during Sandberg's Hall of Fame induction, leading to speculation that Morgan disapproved of the act. However, both former players have maintained a front of civility. [ [ Morgan's absence at Ryne's day odd ] ]

In by|1999, Morgan ranked Number 60 on "The Sporting News"' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.


Local gigs

Morgan started his broadcasting career in by|1985 for the Cincinnati Reds. On September 11, 1985, Morgan along with his television broadcasting partner Ken Wilson were on hand to call Pete Rose's record breaking 4,192 career hit. A year later, Morgan started a nine year stint as an announcer for the San Francisco Giants. Morgan added one more local gig when he joined the Oakland Athletics' broadcasting team for the 1995 season.

ABC Sports

From by|1988-by|1989, Morgan served as an announcer for ABC, where he helped announce "Monday Night Baseball" games, the 1988 American League Championship Series with Gary Bender and Reggie Jackson, and served as a field reporter for the 1989 World Series. Morgan was on the field at San Francisco's Candlestick Park alongside Hall of Famer Willie Mays the moment the Loma Prieta earthquake hit at 5:04 p.m.

NBC Sports

From by|1994-by|2000, Morgan teamed with Bob Costas and Bob Uecker to call baseball games on NBC. During this period, Morgan helped call three World Series (1995, 1997, and 1999) and four All-Star Games (1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000). Morgan had spent a previous (by|1986-by|1987) stint with NBC calling regional "Game of the Week" telecasts.


Currently, Morgan is a member of ESPN's lead baseball broadcast team alongside Jon Miller. Besides teaming with Miller for "Sunday Night Baseball" telecasts, Morgan has also teamed with Miller for World Series broadcasts on ESPN Radio. During the 2006 MLB playoffs, the network had Morgan, their lead baseball analyst, pull double duty by calling the first half of the Mets-Dodgers playoff game at Shea Stadium before traveling across town to call the Yankees-Tigers night game at Yankee Stadium. [ [ - Networks take N.Y. minute to decide baseball's two postseason money series ] ]

He is also a broadcaster in the "MLB 2K" series from 2K Sports. Although Joe Morgan's partnership with Jon Miller began in by|1990, it wasn't the first time that Morgan associated himself with ESPN. From 1985-1988, Morgan called college baseball games for ESPN.

Career statistics


ee also

* List of Gold Glove middle infield duos
* Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
* Top 500 home run hitters of all time
* List of major league players with 2,000 hits
* List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
* List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
* List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
* List of Major League Baseball players with 500 stolen bases
* List of Major League Baseball players with 400 stolen bases
* List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
* List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
* List of Major League Baseball triples champions


External links

*Baseballstats |mlb= |espn= |br=m/morgajo02 |fangraphs=1009179 |cube=m/joe-morgan
* [ "San Francisco Chronicle"] - Joe Morgan's clutch homer knocked the Dodgers out of the pennant race on the final day of the 1982 season and made the Braves champions.

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