The baseball world has lost its sixth Hall of Famer in 2020 and the fifth in five weeks, as Joe Morgan has passed away at 77. Morgan spent 22 years in Major League Baseball. He then enjoyed a broadcasting career that lasted from 1985 to 2010, when he took a role with the Cincinnati Reds organization. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, Morgan was a two-time World Series champion and won back-to-back MVPs in 1975 and 1976 with the “Big Red Machine” in Cincinnati.
Johnny Bench issued a statement in which he praised his beloved teammate for the life he lived.
“Joe wasn’t just the best second baseman in baseball history, he was the best player I ever saw and one of the best people I’ve ever known,” Bench said.
“He was a dedicated father and husband and a day won’t go by that I won’t think about his wisdom and friendship. He left the world a better, fairer, and more equal place than he found it, and inspired millions along the way.”
As Bench notes, the 5’7 Morgan is widely considered to be the best second baseman ever to play the game. He won five consecutive Gold Glove awards and was voted to 10 all-star teams.
In 1990, Morgan not only entered the Hall of Fame, but he also received his college diploma.
“The reason the college took so long was that when I graduated from high school, I was offered a pro contract,” said Morgan. “My father wanted me to take it. My mother wanted me to get an education. I said to her, ‘If you let me sign, I promise I’ll get the degree.’ I had thought my mother had forgotten about my promise.”
Morgan is survived by his wife, Theresa, their daughters Kelly and Ashley, and daughters Lisa and Angela from Morgan’s first marriage.
The Baseball Hall of Fame has lost Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Tom Seaver, Al Kaline and now Morgan in 2020.