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Remembering The Truly Great, Joe Morgan

October 14, 2020

Joe Morgan, who could do it all on a baseball field and often elsewhere all the while, maintaining eloquent class, died far too young, at the age of 77, days back.

Having not seen the 1961 New York Yankees and arguably even if I had, Morgan was part of the best baseball team I ever saw, the so called “Big Red Machine,” especially the 1975 and 1976 “models.”

Those Cincinnati Reds teams did what similar, but not quite as great Reds’ teams failed to do, despite first place finishes in ’70 (before the man they called “Little Joe” arrived in Cincinnati along with Jack Billingham and Cesar Geronimo, as Bob Howsam engineered a great trade with Houston (Astros), ’72 and ’73 and a fine effort in ’74, namely win it all.

It was as a 2 time National League MVP and more important World Champion that Mr. Morgan (cue Ray and Bruno Sammartino) took the time to listen to me, via the phone in 1977. He hoped things would go well for me. That did not manifest, and now Joe is dead at age 77, a sixth great (saying Hall of Famer means so much less, as ‘they’ continue to keep one of Joe’s teammates on those great Reds’ teams, Pete Rose out of there, which is an utter disgrace) from better baseball and days, that died this year and fifth in a roughly (rough is the operative word) six (6) week period. (Al Kaline who wore #6 died months back, followed by Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Edward “Whitey” Ford and Joe Morgan).

I will always remember Joe’s kindness, even as I sometimes move my elbow the way he did at bat.

The looping hit to win the classic ’75 World Series called by Curt Gowdy and one Joe said he would not have attained years earlier, was THE highlight of a great career.

So many others could be cited, I will mention B1, game 1, ’76 World Series and Joe homered off Doyle Alexander, to set the tone for a Reds’ sweep of the Yankees, a series in which Cincy trailed for at most 4 innings, probably less.

I repeat the obvious and what you have read, Joe could hit, even for power, walk, steal a base, field and think! What a great player and man.

The angels are moving their elbows in greeting you Joe, but it happened too soon.

Joe Morgan - Cincinnati Reds

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