Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Joe Morgan Biography - Growing Up, Playing With Houston, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, The Big Red Machine

Joe Morgan - The Big Red Machine

reds hit world bases

Morgan would later call the Reds the best defensive team that ever played, and it had Gold Glove players up the middle in catcher Johnny Bench, Morgan, shortstop Dave Concepcion, and centerfielder Cesar Geronimo. But it also had astonishing hitting power in Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster, and Pete Rose. Joe Morgan, however, was the spark plug of the Big Red Machine. He was its lead-off man, a batter who averaged .290 or better and more than 100 walks during most of his seasons with the team, and a perennial threat to steal—he had 434 stolen bases in his eight years with Cincinnati. Morgan flourished with the Reds. Reds manager Sparky Anderson had such confidence in Morgan that he was allowed to bunt and steal at will. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in both the Reds' world championship years: in 1975 when he batted .327, hit 17 homers, knocked in 94 runs and stole 67 bases, in and 1976 when he hit .320, hit 27 homers, knocked in 111 runs and stole 60 bases. In the 1975 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, a series some consider the most exciting in baseball history, Morgan got the late innings hit that gave the Reds the championship.

By the end of the 1970s, the glory days of Cincinnati's Big Red Machine were past. In 1980, Joe Morgan returned as a free agent to the Houston Astros, leading them that same season to their first divisional championship. However, Houston manager Bill Virdon came to resent Morgan's strong leadership role on the Astros. Virdon started pinch hitting for Morgan late in games and took him out of the last game of the playoffs, after which the second baseman said he would not play for the manager any longer. The following year, he went to the San Francisco Giants. In 1983 he joined the Philadelphia Phillies, where he and his old Reds teammates Pete Rose and Tony Perez went to one last World Series together. At the end of the 1984 season, spent with the Oakland As, Morgan retired as a player.

Joe Morgan - Award-winning Broadcaster [next] [back] Joe Morgan - Awards And Accomplishments

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 9 years ago

You have the facts wrong here, Pete Rose led off for the Big Red Machine.