Joe Morgan Latest HoF Player to Die

In what has become a sad refrain this year, another baseball great has passed, this time Joe Morgan. He was 77. The report I saw stated it was due to complications of polyneuropathy.
Morgan began his career with the Houston Colt 45s/Astros, then came to the Reds in a trade. He was a key cog in the Big Red Machine, and earned NL MVP honors in 1975 and 1976—when the Reds won back to back World Series championships. He hit the go ahead single in the 9th inning of game 7 in the 1975 classic. He was outstanding with the glove, on the base paths, hit for average and had good power as well. I won’t go into detailing his stats, suffice to say the JAWS metric on his Baseball Reference page lists him as the 4th best second baseman ever.

I’ve mentioned before that I grew up a Reds fan. My favorite thing about Joe Morgan was he often had a big grin on his face while he was playing. My one personal encounter with him was when I was about 14 at spring training. He and Dave Concepcion were about to leave after showering when they spied a group of us youngsters congregated by the gate. They pretended to run and hide, but then came and kindly signed autographs for all of us.

After his playing days, he became an announcer. He was not nearly as popular in that role on national broadcasts. There was even a “fire Joe Morgan” website. For myself, I noted towards the end of his time on TV that he just didn’t seem to enjoy it the way he did playing, can’t remember seeing him smile as an announcer.
He was also the #2 man at the HoF, so there’s a pretty big job there that needs to be filled.

Baseball goes on today, with ALCS and NLCS games to be played. It, like life, continues as it should. However, the list of our sports heroes who’ve passed on this year has sadly grown again with Morgan now joining Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, and Whitey Ford.

7 thoughts on “Joe Morgan Latest HoF Player to Die

    1. Hey Rick.

      Did you find pleasure in the Feesh’s surprisingly non terrible season?

      Do you find pleasure in the possibility that we will at least take a step back from Banana Land Republic a few days after the completion of the World Series/

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    1. I don’t think “sparkplug” does him justice. He was the best player on the Big Red Machine, and from 1972-1977 alone he put up numbers (WAR) that are better than several Hall of Fame second baseman’s careers.

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      1. I used the word “sparkplug” semi-jokingly in reference to his size compared to his importance to the team. That big block V8 looks nice, but take away that little sparkplug and it doesn’t run very well.

        I agree that he was in a higher league at 2B. When you are just behind Hornsby, Lajoie and Collins on the all-time 2B list for WAR, you don’t suck, that’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. RIP Joe. He was pure greatness. Never saw Hornsby, way before my time but Joe Morgan was the best that i ever saw in my 60 years of baseball watching. There wasn’t anything that he couldnt do and he was a better human being than baseball player. Pure class act. There will never be another second baseman as great as Morgan. The world is a far worse place today for his passing. Prayers to his family and thank you for sharing him with us

    Liked by 1 person

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