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Hall of Famer 2B Joe Morgan, a Key Cog of Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine, Dies at 77

Photo by: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

By Matthew Zimmer

Al Kaline. Tom Seaver. Lou Brock. Bob Gibson. Whitey Ford. Now, Joe Morgan.

Major League Baseball continues to lose legends as 2020 unfolds. Joe Morgan, the 22-year veteran, best known for his eight years in Cincinnati as a member of the Big Red Machine died on Sunday at 77 years old.

He struggled with various health issues in recent years including a nerve condition, a form of polyneuropathy

The second baseman played for five franchises — 10 years in Houston, eight in Cincinnati, two in San Francisco and one each in Philadelphia and Oakland.

Morgan was prolific in his eight years with the Reds, including eight All-Star game selections. He won four National League pennants, two World Series titles, two NL MVP awards and five Gold Gloves in Cincinnati.

Overall, Morgan made the All-Star team 10 times (twice with Houston), and he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1965. He also won a Silver Slugger award in 1982 at age 38 with San Francisco.

His two MVP seasons (1975 and 1976) were not only the years Cincinnati won the World Series, but also the only two years he hit above .300. Morgan hit .327 in 1975 and .320 in 1976.

In 1975, he led the majors in walks (132), On-Base Percentage (.466), and On-Base + Slugging Percentages (.974) aka OPS. He one-upped himself in ’76 leading MLB in OBP (.444), Slugging (.576) and OPS (1.020).

He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.

For me personally, Joe Morgan was part of the first national baseball broadcast team that I loved listening to. As for the rest of the sports world they shared their mourning on Monday through social media.

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