Joe Morgan

Joe Leonard Morgan
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1990
Primary team: Cincinnati Reds
Primary position: 2nd Baseman

“I have never seen anyone, and I mean anyone, play better than Joe has played this year,” Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson told reporters in 1975. Comparable in size to Dead Ball era players at 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, Morgan instead was perfectly suited to the artificial surface game of the 1970s, when he emerged as one of the key cogs in Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine.

In the Reds’ back-to-back World Series championship years in 1975-76, Morgan won back-to-back MVP awards in the National League, as well as two of his five consecutive Gold Glove Awards.

Morgan signed with the expansion Houston Colt .45s in 1962. He reached the majors for the first time in 1963 and became Houston’s regular second baseman in 1965. He spent nine seasons with Houston and made two All-Star Game appearances, but became a Hall of Famer after being traded in November 1971 to the Reds and leaving Houston’s cavernous Astrodome. He led the league in walks, on-base percentage and runs scored in his first season with Cincinnati and earned All-Star nods in each of his eight seasons with the Reds. In his peak years of 1975 and ’76, he led baseball in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage.)

After leaving the Reds as a 36-year-old free agent in 1980, Morgan remained a key player on winning treams, playing for Houston’s division winner in 1980, playing two productive seasons in San Francisco and then belting 16 homers for Philadelphia’s pennant-winning “Wheeze Kids” in 1983. He played his final season back home in Oakland in 1984 before embarking on a long career as a broadcaster.

Baseball historian Bill James has called Morgan the best percentages player in baseball history, and indeed Morgan’s game was marked by efficiency. He was an ideal hitter early in a batting order, ranking fifth all-time in walks (1,865) and 11th in career stolen bases with 689.

"[On his speed]: I'm not bad. I'm no Joe Morgan, but I'm pretty good for a white guy. "
Pete Rose

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1990
Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position Played: 2nd Baseman
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Birth place: Bonham, Texas
Birth year: 1943
Played for:
Houston Astros (1963-1971)
Cincinnati Reds (1972-1979)
Houston Astros (1980)
San Francisco Giants (1981-1982)
Philadelphia Phillies (1983)
Oakland Athletics (1984)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
2649
At BatsAB
9277
RunsR
1650
HitsH
2517
Doubles2B
449
Triples3B
96
Home RunsHR
268
RBIRBI
1133
Stolen BasesSB
689
WalksBB
1865
Batting AverageBA
.271
OPSOPS
.819
On Base %OBP
.392
Slugging %SLG
.427