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Monday, October 12, 2020

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan dead at 77

Two-time National League MVP Joe Morgan has passed away at the age of 77….

Morgan was the engine of the Big Red Machine which won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. Morgan was the National League MVP both seasons. He also was a 10-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.

Morgan’s 22-year MLB career began in 1963 with the Houston Colt .45s.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:31 AM | 156 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe morgan, obituaries

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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5982546)
that's 6 HOFers this year
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:48 AM (#5982548)
Damn. 2020 just sucks.

RIP Little Joe.
   3. Esoteric Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5982549)
What a shitty year.

RIP Joe. I never thought you should be fired, even if Billy Beane didn't actually write that book.
   4. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5982550)
Wonderful ballplayer. Terrible year.

Somebody needs to find and bubble Willie Mays and Hank Aaron before this gets totally out of hand.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5982552)
With all the Hall of Famers who have died his year, I forgot about some of the others, like Morgan's teammate Jimmy Wynn. Here's bb-ref's list, updated through Whitey Ford.
   6. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5982553)
My favorite Morgan moment and I’m sure that of many of you as well.
   7. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5982555)
This is a drag. Morgan is the first of the "Great Eight" to pass away.

THE GREAT 8
   8. Mefisto Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5982556)
An all-star team of players who've died this year:

C Biff Pocoroba
1B Bob Watson
2B Joe Morgan
3B Tony Taylor
SS Tony Fernandez
LF Lou Brock
CF Jimmy Wynn
RF Al Kaline
P Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford, Mike McCormick, Johnny Antonelli
RP Ron Perranoski

Plus it would have a great bench.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5982557)
An all-star team of players who've died this year:


I was looking up that very thing, and I think you'd substitute Don Pavletich or Hal Smith at catcher on a merit basis, even if neither has a name as great as Biff Pocoroba.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5982559)
They're calling for him to be fired in Heaven, now.
   11. Mefisto Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5982560)
Ok, let's go with Hal Smith. But man that's pedestrian compared to Biff.
   12. asinwreck Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5982561)
He'd been on my mind last week. As commentators have remarked on the peculiarity of Alex Rodriguez praising bunts on recent broadcasts in, I had been thinking about Morgan using the mike to bash the very things that made him such a brilliant player. And he was brilliant. I was never a Reds' fan, but he's my archetype of a second baseman.

Back when his playing career ended, the speculation around Morgan was that he'd manager a team someday. I wonder how we'd think of him had that come to pass.
   13. The Duke Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5982563)
Two and a half months to go. A lot more names could fall.

Brock, Seaver, Gibson, morgan and ford in a matter of days.

When they finally get around to an induction ceremony in 2022 a lot guys will be gone
   14. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: October 12, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5982568)
I cannot believe it. It greatly saddens me. He was a Dodger-killer as both a Red and a Giant, and of course that caused the Dodger fan in me a bit of angst, but he was a great player and you couldn't really root against him.

Despite what everyone says, I really enjoyed listening to Joe Morgan as an announcer. Sure, he liked small ball more than sabremetrics has shown to be valuable, but he had many other insights and stories, and he LOVED THE GAME, and it showed. I could never understand the bile directed at him, it seemed totally unwarranted. There was that website around for a long time "fire Joe Morgan", I think it was called.
   15. VCar Posted: October 12, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5982569)
Bummer. I went to his HOF ceremony in '90, though it got delayed 1 day by rain and we couldn't stay. RIP
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 12:23 PM (#5982570)
oldest HOFers left: Lasorda 92, Mays 89, Herzog 88, Aaron 86, Aparicio 86, Selig 85, Koufax 84, Maz 83
   17. Astroenteritis Posted: October 12, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5982574)
An all-star team of players who've died this year:

C Biff Pocoroba
1B Bob Watson
2B Joe Morgan
3B Tony Taylor
SS Tony Fernandez
LF Lou Brock
CF Jimmy Wynn
RF Al Kaline


I feel really fortunate to have seen Watson, Morgan and Wynn play in the Astrodome for Houston. This year has really sucked.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5982575)
One of the all-time greats. RIP.

And I agree with the comments in #14 about his announcing.
   19. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:04 PM (#5982578)
I often enjoyed FJM and there was also a lot I enjoyed (definitely not all!) about Morgan’s announcing - he had real gifts at describing how parts of plays happen.
Regardless, that’s not what I think of with Morgan - it was his tremendous play on the field. RIP Joe...
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5982586)
Sure, he liked small ball more than sabremetrics has shown to be valuable, but he had many other insights and stories, and he LOVED THE GAME, and it showed. I could never understand the bile directed at him, it seemed totally unwarranted. There was that website around for a long time "fire Joe Morgan", I think it was called.
It was more than that - he was aggressively and stridently disdainful of anything that involved bringing actual data to bear on baseball rather than received "wisdom" and narrative convention, even while admitting he refused to even engage with the new ideas (e.g. by refusing to read Moneyball).

Nonetheless, he was of course a tremendous player and a fine ambassador for the game.
   21. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5982591)
Obviously an inner-circle Hall of Famer, but for me (43 yo), iconic because of his teaming with Miller in the broadcast booth. I thought they were great as a form of entertainment, philosophical positions and temperament aside. No question he helped me become a fan of the game.
   22. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5982592)
Joe Morgan was done playing when I was two, so I didn't get to experience his playing career in any real way, but I appreciate how great of a player he was. I echo the above - he was the platonic ideal of a second baseman. He played great defense at an important infield position, he was a great baserunner, he got on base at a fantastic clip, he hit for decent enough average, and he had enough pop to get 50 - 60 extra base hits per year. I would have loved to watch him play.

The Jon Miller and Joe Morgan booth was great when they were doing the ESPN games. I thought they had great rapport, and Morgan was very good at offering insightful commentary from a player's point of view. The criticism of him as a sabrmetric Luddite was certainly fair (I loved the writing at firejoemorgan.com), but I think it would have been fine had he just kept doing his thing. Once he became aware of it and started to double down on some of his pro-smallball rants while including potshots taken at statistical analysts who didn't know how baseball was really played, I didn't enjoy his commentary nearly as much. But whenever he and Jon just did their thing, it was enjoyable, even if Morgan didn't provide a very balanced viewpoint.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5982597)
The criticism of him as a sabrmetric Luddite was certainly fair (I loved the writing at firejoemorgan.com), but I think it would have been fine had he just kept doing his thing. Once he became aware of it and started to double down on some of his pro-smallball rants while including potshots taken at statistical analysts who didn't know how baseball was really played, I didn't enjoy his commentary nearly as much.
Seconded. And sadly, in 2020 we're still at a place where "putting the ball in play is better than a strikeout, even if it results in a DP" and "home runs kill rallies" are part of postseason broadcasts.
   24. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5982598)
I would have loved to watch him play.

If you never saw him hit, he had a unique elbow flap he would do as a trigger to remind him to keep his back elbow up during his swing. It seemed to have worked.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5982599)
Miller and Morgan were the soundtrack for national baseball games in my younger days. He was disdainful of stats, but when he was in his element talking about the inner workings of the game, like footwork to turn two, or how to anticipate certain pitch sequences, he was great. RIP Joe.
   26. . . . . . . Posted: October 12, 2020 at 01:59 PM (#5982602)
It's almost as if there is a pandemic that's killing old people and all these old ballplayers are dying of it.
   27. The Duke Posted: October 12, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5982604)
He was instrumental at keeping the writers vote from getting the PED guys in. I wonder if this will allow some of them to vote for the cheats or whether someone else will step up and take the lead.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5982609)
If I could draw, I would draw a cartoon of St. Peter at the pearly gates saying "There's no VORP here, Joe."
   29. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 12, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5982611)
What a wonderful ballplayer, and a passionate ambassador for the game. It always struck me as odd that he was so overtly disdainful of sabermetrics, yet was probably one of the players whose standing among the all-time greats is most helped by sabermetrics. He was obviously recognized at his peak as an elite player (one of the few back-to-back MVPs in history), but he is probably even more of an all-timer than is generally recognized. His being one of the primary voices of national broadcasts of baseball for many years has helped keep him alive in the minds of a generation of fans who never say him play. He was a joy to watch.
   30. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 12, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5982613)
The best second baseman I've ever seen, and the best player on the best team I've ever seen. R.I.P.
   31. John DiFool2 Posted: October 12, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5982614)
My fave thing, which Bill James of course once wrote about, was how he would ALWAYS read the pitchout, always head back to first as the pitch was thrown.
   32. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 12, 2020 at 03:26 PM (#5982618)
On a different note, is this the most Hall of Famers to die in one calendar year? I took a quick look at it via baseball-reference, and although I couldn't easily sort it within the site, I was able to do a quick count with some Excel help. It appears this is how it breaks down:

Most Hall of Famers to die in a calendar year:

2020 and 1972 - 6
1948 and 1993 - 5
1951, 1954, 1963, 1971, 1984, 1989, 1999 - 4
20 years have seen three HOFers pass away, most recently 2017.
21 have seen 2 pass away, most recently 2018.
48 have seen one pass away, most recently 2019.
2008 was the last year to not have a HOFer pass away. Actually, from 2004 to 2009, a total of only three Hall of Famers passed away. That appears to be the quietest stretch since the 1930s.

There are now 68 living Hall of Famers.

I decided to list the players who passed away in the four years that had 5 or more HOFers pass away. Before I did this, I thought it would be clear that 2020 would have the most "star-power lost" of any year, if you will. I would argue that 2020 has had the most evenly-impressive group...but when you look at the list below, you may agree with me that it actually not so clear:

2020: Seaver, Morgan, Ford, Brock, Kaline, Gibson
1972: Clemente, Jackie Robinson, Zack Wheat, Gabby Hartnett, Pie Traynor, Dave Bancroft
1948: Babe Ruth, Hack Wilson, Three-Finger Brown, Herb Pennock, Joe Tinker
1993: Gehringer, Bill Dickey, Roy Campanella, Johnny Mize, Don Drysdale

I mean, in terms of social impact, and attention garnered from non-sports fans, 1972 is pretty obviously off the charts, right? Jackie Robinson *and* Roberto Clemente (given how he died).

Then you look at 1948, and any list that includes Babe Ruth is going to be a big f**king deal.

Then you look at 1993, and you'd have to say that Gehringer and Dickey are inner-circle guys, right? Campanella brings an element of social significance, as well as excellence on the field. Drysdale would probably rank behind the three pitchers who died in 2020...but his fame and reputation, the years in broadcast television, the association with Koufax, etc., made his passing a bigger story than might otherwise have been expected.

How would you rank these four years, in terms of impact?

I'd go:
1972
2020
1948
1993
   33. Mefisto Posted: October 12, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5982622)
We have 2.5 months to go this year and several HOF'ers in their 80s while a pandemic is raging: Mays, Aaron, Marichal, Perry. Don't rank 'em yet.
   34. EddieA Posted: October 12, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5982626)
The 2 oldest player hall of famers are almost indisputably the two greatest living hall of famers.
   35. Mefisto Posted: October 12, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5982628)
Almost?
   36. DFA Posted: October 12, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5982630)
One True Outcome, I suppose.

Great player, for sure. I think he defined baseball in the '70s. For me, FJM brought me untold hours of joy. May he RIP.
   37. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5982631)
2020: Seaver, Morgan, Ford, Brock, Kaline, Gibson
1972: Clemente, Jackie Robinson, Zack Wheat, Gabby Hartnett, Pie Traynor, Dave Bancroft
1948: Babe Ruth, Hack Wilson, Three-Finger Brown, Herb Pennock, Joe Tinker
1993: Gehringer, Bill Dickey, Roy Campanella, Johnny Mize, Don Drysdale

...

How would you rank these four years, in terms of impact?

I'd go:
1972
2020
1948
1993


I would have never guessed that Gehringer died in my lifetime. I just sort of assumed he was one of those guys who died in the 50s or 60s. I certainly watched the 1986 All Star Game where he was honorary captain and presumably saw him then. Anyway...

I think it's hard to argue that 1972 is #1 but I kind of think 1948 goes ahead of 2020. As you say any list with Ruth is kind of up there right away and if we are talking societal impact Joe Tinker is, somewhat through no effort of his own, part of one of the most defining pieces of writing on baseball. I'd bet between that and Three Finger adding to Ruth puts that group ahead of 2020's group particularly if you are evaluating how these events were seen contemporaneously rather than how they are viewed now (except 2020 for which "now" is obviously contemporaneous).
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5982632)
You guys are really just tempting fate. Please stop. We don't need to lose Hank, Willie and Beltre, just because 2020 enjoys a challenge.
   39. bunyon Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5982634)
Am I being too picky to point out Clemente wasn't a HOFer when he died? On the other hand, he is a HOFer and he died in 1972. But I think the effect of his death would have been more akin to, say - well, I don't think there is anyone quite like Clemente playing now but an active player of stature rather than any of these HOFers. It's really crappy watching these HOFers pass but they're, mostly, old men, of age where death isn't unexpected. As terrible as their losses are, it's just not the same thing as Clemente (or even Halladay, say).

Anyway, that's probably too silly when I'm mainly just sad at his passing. I didn't much like his sparring with sabermetrics but I loved his stories and insight and, more than that, watching him play. RIP.
   40. The Duke Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5982635)
Clemente wasn’t in the Hall until 1973 so I’m going to have to exclude him. But even with him in is there any doubt that 2020 is by far the worst. 2020’s a who’s who of inner circle hall of famers plus it’s got a guy named Biff and another guy nick-named the Toy cannon. 2020 has it all, so to speak.

And to top it off John McCains mother just passed too at 108. If she had been a baseball fan, it’s possible she had seen or read about almost every modern Major League Baseball Player. Not a bad life to say you saw the Big Train, Ruth, DiMaggio, Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Barry bonds, Pedro, Pujols and trout. I’d love to see all her old scorecards !
   41. JRVJ Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5982636)
Assuming that there are induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next year, the event is going to be very poignant due to all the greats no longer around.
   42. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5982639)
And sadly, in 2020 we're still at a place where "putting the ball in play is better than a strikeout, even if it results in a DP" and "home runs kill rallies" are part of postseason broadcasts.


To be fair, three true outcome baseball has gotten to the point where I'd rather watch guys (even guys I'm rooting for) hit into a double play than strike out. And home runs might not kill rallies, but they've stopped being exciting.

Maybe Joe was just ahead of his time? I'd be a lot more amenable to his rants in the current era of baseball.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5982642)
I would have never guessed that Gehringer died in my lifetime.

one of the coolest video archives from the end of Ken Burn's Baseball documentary series was of Ty Cobb throwing out the first pitch at the first pitch at the expansion Los Angeles Angels' first game.

It was 1961. Ty was 74, and he died 3 months later. but still.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5982646)
Clemente wasn’t in the Hall until 1973 so I’m going to have to exclude him.


Quite a few of those players weren't inducted until after their deaths: Hack Wilson, Herb Pennock, Bancroft.

To be fair, three true outcome baseball has gotten to the point where I'd rather watch guys (even guys I'm rooting for) hit into a double play than strike out. And home runs might not kill rallies, but they've stopped being exciting.


It's probably not worth noting that putting the ball in play actually is better than a strikeout, the occasional DP notwithstanding.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: October 12, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5982655)
This sucks.
   46. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: October 12, 2020 at 05:35 PM (#5982660)
I sat next to Joe Morgan on a flight from SFO, and if it makes anyone feel better Morgan didn't think much of most people in baseball either. Unless you played in the big leagues he didn't think you had much to offer. His frame of reference being his own career where repeatedly everyone told him all the reasons he could not be a major league player. He was too small. His defense wasn't good enough. He didn't hit the ball enough (I think he meant that he was criticized for walking a lot) He was too cocky for a guy his size. (another weird one, what only big guys can be confident?) And he said even after he made it to the major leagues he was told a lot of what was wrong about his game.

That has to mess with you. You are trying to make it in your profession and every step people are only giving you negative feedback.

Best of luck to him in his next journey.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: October 12, 2020 at 05:39 PM (#5982663)
He was instrumental at keeping the writers vote from getting the PED guys in.

Not really. They'd already decided to keep them out. Morgan's letter came after the purge of old voters who hadn't covered baseball in 40 years led to a one-time bump in the percentages for Bonds and Clemens. Almost no voter ever changed their vote on those two, any changes in their percentages has been pretty much purely a function of older voters leaving (esp in the purge), new voters coming on and the packed ballot years when a few voters may have engaged in strategic voting of NOT voting for B & C to put on other worthy candidates.

In 2013, Bonds received 206 votes (36.2%); then 198 (34.7); 202 (36.8); 195 (44.3, the purge year); 238 (53.8, the first year of ballot relief); 238 (56.4, a small drop in total voters); 251 (59.1); 241 (60.7, another drop in total voters). Clemens is basically identical. They have 2 ballots left.

Morgan's letter was Nov 2017, after that 53.8% jump. With 2 first-ballot HoFers on the 2018 ballot, B&C went nowhere. At the most, Morgan's letter kept them from picking up a few votes in 2018 which, sure you never know, could have been a tipping point. He still picked up 13 votes in 2019, picked up 1.5% in 2020. Morgan was preaching to the choir.
   48. Rally Posted: October 12, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5982667)
That has to mess with you. You are trying to make it in your profession and every step people are only giving you negative feedback.


Some of the great ones feed off that stuff and it makes them better.
   49. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: October 12, 2020 at 05:56 PM (#5982671)
I will say I disliked Morgan as a broadcaster before FJM was a thing, and immensely enjoyed FJM for the entirety of its run. In one of Dirk Hayhurst's books he quoted an anonymous teammate as saying, "If you took a drink every time he starts a sentence with 'I' you'd be dead of alcohol poisoning by the fifth inning," which is a funny and concise way of summing up what I disliked about him as a broadcaster. You could be left waiting quite a while for Vin Scully to start a sentence with "I" on a baseball broadcast.

But he wasn't a broadcaster because he was great at broadcasting. It was because he was passionate about baseball, his enthusiasm for it could be stopped only by stopping his heart. And he was one of the very greatest ballplayers that ever lived.
   50. Zach Posted: October 12, 2020 at 06:06 PM (#5982673)
Quality as a baseball announcer does not mean agreeing with your personal opinions about baseball. Morgan had a good voice and a good rapport with Jon Miller. Sunday Evening Baseball was an enjoyable broadcast. Joe Buck could turn into the next Billy Bean and I would still prefer listening to Morgan and Miller.

FJM had some ok snark, but I hate the attitude that the world must perfectly mirror your own beliefs at all times or else somebody has to get fired.
   51. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5982674)
Quality as a baseball announcer does not mean agreeing with your personal opinions about baseball.
No, but it should at least mean not championing misinformation and being actively hostile to those who favor identifying and using correct information.
   52. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 12, 2020 at 06:27 PM (#5982678)
In the postscript to "Bless You Boys", Sparky Anderson's game-by-game diary of the 1984 Tigers' season, Morgan is quoted:

He's not the smartest strategist in the world, but he's the best of getting the most out of the players he has. The most overrated idea in baseball is that a manager wins and loses games with strategic moves on the field.

Now Morgan played under Leo Durocher and against managers like Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog, and Gene Mauch - men who felt they *could* win games with strategic moves. But he flourished under Sparky and Frank Robinson, who (regarding position players) had a "let 'em play" ethos. It seemed the basis of his opposition to sabermetrics lay there: he couldn't grasp the distinction between strategic moves based on hunches and those based on hard data.
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2020 at 06:49 PM (#5982681)
He's not the smartest strategist in the world, but he's the best of getting the most out of the players he has. The most overrated idea in baseball is that a manager wins and loses games with strategic moves on the field.


He wasn't wrong.
   54. Jay Z Posted: October 12, 2020 at 06:58 PM (#5982683)
I actually thought Fire Joe Morgan was about the Red Sox manager. Who cares if an announcer gets fired? Maybe makes my point there.

"We hate the successor to the game we helped destroy." Nuf ced.

Morgan did not die of COVID. He died of polyneuropathy, a disease affecting peripheral nerves. I had never heard of that, apparently I am not the only one. Perhaps we can all get people's cause of death correct?

My perspective is that all of these HOFers outlived my own father. We get old and stuff happens. My dad didn't get the condition that caused his own death until his early 60s. So it could happen for me. Or not, mom is still going at 95. Stuff happens, years pass, and Joe Morgan, you, or me are not immune. Live accordingly.
   55. Hank Gillette Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:00 PM (#5982684)
As commentators have remarked on the peculiarity of Alex Rodriguez praising bunts on recent broadcasts in, I had been thinking about Morgan using the mike to bash the very things that made him such a brilliant player.


That was peculiar. I think a lot of former players in that situation would embrace the analysis that considered him a much better player than the traditional statistics showed.

I wonder if anyone asked him when he downplayed the value of walking, “Then why the hell did you walk so much, Joe?”
   56. baxter Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:01 PM (#5982685)
That great 8 Reds team had 4 MVP's (including 2 two time MVP's); is that the most in a starting lineup? I can't think of a lineup with that many MVP's who were at or near their primes.

The elbow flap was very distinctive.

He did have a pleasant voice as an announcer.

Also, was detained/roughed up an airport; as the police were tackling him, someone said, "Hey, that's Joe Morgan"; had a successful lawsuit.

Can anyone help identify the other players in the photo from last year's induction, photo from yahoo news:

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/hall-of-fame-second-baseman-joe-morgan-dies-at-77-151846967.html

Fingers and Carew to Morgan's left (right of photo)? Gossage on Morgan's right, in back; who is in front wearing blue tie? Purple shirt, Cepeda? Any of the others?

thank you in advance.
   57. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:03 PM (#5982686)
I think part of Morgan's problem with sabermetrics was that he perceived it as micromanaging (which, in the context of how he lauded Sparky, it is). Morgan was, in many ways, a sabermetrically-perfect player: So smart, a student of the game, somebody who maximized his skills and added value all over the place - with the glove, on the bases, with patience and power. But he probably was like an Australian Border Collie who is just smarter at being a dog than pretty much all the other dogs, and he sees the other dogs using stats to try to be as smart and good at being a dog as him, and Morgan's like, "I don't get why you need that spreadsheet...just be a really smart dog!" And the other dogs are like, "You just know where to go to herd sheep, and you always go to the right place. The rest of us are trying to figure it out."

While the other players were trying to figure out the best time to try to steal second, Morgan was literally walking back to first base on pitchouts, because he had it so figured out. Sort of like why Ted Williams struggled as a manager - he couldn't quite figure out that not everybody can figure out hitting like he did...
   58. VCar Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:07 PM (#5982690)
No, but it should at least mean not championing misinformation and being actively hostile to those who favor identifying and using correct information.


Let's not turn this thread into Trump bashing ....
   59. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5982692)
Morgan's like, "I don't get why you need that spreadsheet...just be a really smart dog!" And the other dogs are like, "You just know where to go to herd sheep, and you always go to the right place. The rest of us are trying to figure it out
Not sure I buy it, because IIRC Morgan was usually railing on data-influenced tactics in favor of small ball and whatnot. He was telling the other dogs they should bunt the sheep.
   60. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5982694)
As for whether or not we should count HOFers who die *before* they become Hall of Famers, I think you absolutely should count them. As somebody mentioned above, one might be surprised at how many non-BBWAA inductees died before they were inducted, including most of the Negro League inductees, the Old Timers' Committee picks back in the day etc.

In fact, a quick count came out to 71 players who made the Hall of Fame after they died. (If you added non-players, that number would go up a fair amount.)
   61. Hank Gillette Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:13 PM (#5982695)
FJM had some ok snark, but I hate the attitude that the world must perfectly mirror your own beliefs at all times or else somebody has to get fired.


I never got the idea the “Fire Joe Morgan” was mean-spirited, or that they actually wanted him to be fired. It was more like they were continually amazed the Morgan spent so much time criticizing the things he did as a player that made him an inner-circle Hall of Famer.
   62. Mefisto Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:26 PM (#5982696)
I can't believe I forgot Sandy Koufax in 33. Him too.
   63. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 07:35 PM (#5982697)
I never got the idea the “Fire Joe Morgan” was mean-spirited, or that they actually wanted him to be fired. It was more like they were continually amazed the Morgan spent so much time criticizing the things he did as a player that made him an inner-circle Hall of Famer.


It was satire. They wrote over-the-top criticisms of pieces that glorified old ways of thinking and often vilified new (sabrmetric) ways of thinking. I do think some it went past satire and into mean-spiritedness, but they weren't in favor of firing Joe Morgan. I thought most of their stuff was hilarious and was aimed primarily at anti-intellectualism in the baseball community - the ones who decried analytics as some sort of witchcraft. Joe Morgan the commentator was one of the more visible/audible champions of that way of thinking, but they spent way more time tearing apart written pieces by Bill Plaschke and others of his ilk.

I think that was just a weird time. Sabrmetrics was entering the mainstream and these former high level athletes - guys who played the game for decades, had the highest baseball IQs, and now were in positions where they analyzed the game - were being told that conventional wisdom was possibly wrong on a lot of things they thought was gospel. Again, not having seen him play other than highlights, everything I've read and heard about Morgan was that he was a brilliant baseball player. I think even the humblest person would bristle somewhat at being corrected (often rudely) by people who hadn't played the game past Little League. That doesn't excuse his behavior; he should have taken the time to learn about it, even if he continued to disagree. That was his job. The fact that he (and many others) willfully remained ignorant and touted their ignorance is what FJM targeted.
   64. AndrewJ Posted: October 12, 2020 at 08:23 PM (#5982703)
We've lost four of the top 50 players in career WAR this year in Kaline (42nd), Seaver (#22), Gibson (#47) and now Morgan (#31).

Don't forget (as I mentioned in another thread) that Cy Young and Honus Wagner died within a month of each other in late 1955.

As for 1972, remember Gil Hodges dying that April -- no, not a Hall of Famer, but still a highly newsworthy death only 2 1/2 years after The Miracle Mets.
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: October 12, 2020 at 08:44 PM (#5982706)
"Fingers and Carew to Morgan's left (right of photo)? Gossage on Morgan's right, in back; who is in front wearing blue tie? Purple shirt, Cepeda?"

Eckersley is behind Fingers.
Jenkins is in front of Goose's photo bomb.

guy on the far left of photo was just some MLB exec.
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 12, 2020 at 09:07 PM (#5982711)
But he probably was like an Australian Border Collie . . .
Morgans are horses.
   67. baxter Posted: October 12, 2020 at 09:10 PM (#5982712)
65 Thanks.
   68. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 12, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5982714)
Actually, isn't the executive to Morgan's right Rob Manfred?
   69. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2020 at 09:21 PM (#5982715)

Actually, isn't the executive to Morgan's right Rob Manfred?


So, he should have said, just some awful MLB exec.
   70. . . . . . . Posted: October 12, 2020 at 09:50 PM (#5982719)
Morgan did not die of COVID. He died of polyneuropathy, a disease affecting peripheral nerves. I had never heard of that, apparently I am not the only one. Perhaps we can all get people's cause of death correct?


That’s not quite right. He had polyneuropathy. No actual cause of death was given. I know a little about polyneuropathy and it is exceptionally rare for it to kill someone. It is much more likely to make you weak and susceptible to other diseases.
   71. Snowboy Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5982721)
I need one hand to count the personalized jerseys I own, but one of them is a #8 Morgan.
It was given to me by a friend in Cinci. He does some charity work (like with the Reds Community Fund) and he speaks highly of Morgan.
We both enjoyed him on Sunday nights with Jon Miller.
And we all know Joe was a great player, even if we are too young to have witnessed it. Our Dads, Grandpas, and John Thorn's Total Baseball educated us. A seriously legendary player. A body-of-work, this guy was one of the greatest players ever, great player.
And my friend says Morgan wouldn't show up to these charity events just to speak from the podium or gladhand the major donors, he loved to mix it up with everybody.
He'd get in there with the kids and play with them, coach them, put smiles on their faces. Meanwhile maybe some other current or recently retired players were more apt to hang back, maybe talk amongst themselves. Which works great for some organizers: having celebs sip a drink and chat, or have people line up for a photo with them, is thought of as a good way to increase donations.
And doubtless it is.
But Morgan often preferred to bounce grounders to eight year olds.
Or play catch with the volunteers.
RIP
   72. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:14 PM (#5982722)
Morgans are horses.
And now ARod is also a broadcaster who complains about the very things that made him a great player. Coincidence? I think not.
   73. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:34 PM (#5982728)
#63 is very well put.


That great 8 Reds team had 4 MVP's (including 2 two time MVP's); is that the most in a starting lineup? I can't think of a lineup with that many MVP's who were at or near their primes.


The '70-71 Orioles had Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, and Don Baylor, although Baylor was just a rookie and wouldn't win until '79.

The '60-63 Yankees had Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, and Elston Howard, although Berra was a bit past his prime.

The '51 Yankees had Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra, and Mickey Mantle, although Mantle hadn't won his yet. They also had Jackie Jensen, who hadn't won an MVP yet.

   74. baxter Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:05 PM (#5982735)
Jensen; think he coached baseball at Cal think there was a picture of him in the newspaper trying to get more money for the baseball team; did he play football there? Remember when he passed (in his 50's); he was over twenty years younger than Morgan.

Not that many teams with that # of MVP's; 51 was DiMaggio's last year; was he a 3 time MVP, like Mantle & Berra

Baylor was a fast player; stole a lot of bases; not yet a star.

Howard had a great second half of a career, blocked much of it by Berra.

Howard made me think of the 67 Red Sox; Yaz and he (Howard at tail end of career then); Red Sox had 3 for a while in Lynn, Yaz & Rice, can't think of a 4th one for that team.
   75. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: October 12, 2020 at 11:30 PM (#5982740)
He's not the smartest strategist in the world, but he's the best of getting the most out of the players he has. The most overrated idea in baseball is that a manager wins and loses games with strategic moves on the field.


I've always assumed this is why Dusty Baker has been a great manager. From another angle, the lack of these strengths was the reading between the lines I took of why the Yankees moved on from Girardi a few years ago. Of course, there are plenty of examples of both sides of this as it applies to dugout managers. And managers in others businesses.
   76. Posada Posse Posted: October 13, 2020 at 02:39 AM (#5982748)
I always wore number “8” in high school sports as sort of my personal tribute to two veteran players that I saw as a kid in the late 1970’s, Joe and Yaz, who both just oozed class, just an iconic number to me personally. The best second baseman of all time according to Bill James’ Historical Abstract, just ahead of Collins and Hornsby (very debatable, I know). Fine broadcaster too, and really a wonderful presence in the sport for many decades. RIP.
   77. TomH Posted: October 13, 2020 at 05:32 AM (#5982750)
Make an all-star lineup for the past 90 years. How many players are no-argument locks for starting positions?

Morgan.

You could say Schmidt, but some could argue A-Rod.
Bench, but then there is Josh Gibson.

I suppose Mays as one of three OFers.

I began playing Strat-O-Matic in the 1970s. Joe Morgan was the best player almost every year, 1972-76.
   78. Rally Posted: October 13, 2020 at 08:14 AM (#5982751)
“ I do think some it went past satire and into mean-spiritedness, but they weren't in favor of firing Joe Morgan. ”

Then they were guilty of false advertising.
   79. something like a train wreck Posted: October 13, 2020 at 08:20 AM (#5982753)
Off-topic, but I had drifted away from this site and probably haven't been on in several years. I decided to check out what was being said about Morgan and was very pleasantly reminded about the intelligence and tone of you all, at least when it is a topic as important as the death of Joe Morgan.
   80. AndrewJ Posted: October 13, 2020 at 08:25 AM (#5982754)
79>> Don’t worry — we’ll be back to our insufferable selves soon enough...
   81. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 13, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5982766)
Most Hall of Famers to die in a calendar year:

2020 and 1972 - 6


Of course, in 1972 it seemed like the whole world was falling about, what with a corrupt, Republican jerk as President, who was re-elected over his clueless Democratic opponent.

Um...yeah.

As for 1972, remember Gil Hodges dying that April -- no, not a Hall of Famer

He still might be, but it's probably better that Gil doesn't make it. That would make seven for '72, and the universe would have to kill off Sandy Koufax just to even the scales.
   82. Mefisto Posted: October 13, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5982770)
@73: The Giants had 3 MVPs from 1962-5 (Mays 2, McCovey 2, Cepeda -- won with Cardinals in '67) plus a future two-time Cy Young winner in Gaylord Perry.
   83. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 13, 2020 at 11:31 AM (#5982776)
He was before my time as a player, but what a player.

I also enjoyed FJM, but thought he was okay as an announcer.

He had more career RBIs than strikeouts. I thought that would be rare, but looking back just at recent inductees, Vlad, Edgar, Griffey, and Chipper all did it. Bonds did it. Going way back, Dimaggio had more than four times as many RBI as strikeouts. The spike in K's is really a phenomenon.

   84. DFA Posted: October 13, 2020 at 01:42 PM (#5982798)
He's not the smartest strategist in the world, but he's the best of getting the most out of the players he has. The most overrated idea in baseball is that a manager wins and loses games with strategic moves on the field.


I think this statement is hard to prove or disprove. Bullpen management would count as strategy? I'm biased as an Oriole fan, but I think Buck Showalter was quite strategic and that accounted for quite a bit of the success from 2012 to 2016. But I've been wrong many times before...
   85. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2020 at 01:59 PM (#5982802)
Bullpen management would count as strategy? I'm biased as an Oriole fan, but I think Buck Showalter was quite strategic
Are you serious? Showalter for bullpen management?
   86. DFA Posted: October 13, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5982819)
Zach Britton aside, of course...
   87. Rally Posted: October 13, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5982820)
He had more career RBIs than strikeouts. I thought that would be rare, but looking back just at recent inductees, Vlad, Edgar, Griffey, and Chipper all did it. Bonds did it. Going way back, Dimaggio had more than four times as many RBI as strikeouts. The spike in K's is really a phenomenon.


For HOF hitters, at one point every one of them had more RBI than strikeouts. The guy whose career ended earliest who had more K than RBI was Pee Wee Reese (1958) and just barely. Next year was Doby, followed by Mathews and Mantle in the 60s.
   88. Ron J Posted: October 13, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5982823)
Wrong thread
   89. SoSH U at work Posted: October 13, 2020 at 03:21 PM (#5982824)
Then there's Lyman Bostock where?

   90. Ron J Posted: October 13, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5982825)
#89 Responding to a comment by Rally in a different thread.
   91. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5982829)
Zach Britton aside, of course...
Every manager is good, aside from when they do thunderously dumb things.
   92. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 13, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5982831)
The booth interviewed Dave Roberts during last night, and they said something like, "it's easy to win when there are no expectations, it's harder to do when you've got pressure on you". That made no sense to me (I'd much rather have a talented team that is expected to win). But I do appreciate guys like Showalter, Dusty, Roberts, etc. who maintain a strong culture and for the most part get excellent results, the occasional boneheaded mistake aside. Many Primates could manage a nine-inning game; none of us could manage an MLB locker room.
   93. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 13, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5982841)
Then they were guilty of false advertising.


I always figured this was just a case of not being able to use punctuation in a URL. Really, they were warning Joe Morgan about a nearby conflagration, but they couldn't be "Fire, Joe Morgan.com".
   94. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 13, 2020 at 05:35 PM (#5982842)
Joe Biden on Joe Morgan during an appearance in Cincinnati:
Before I begin, let me say that I’m saddened to hear that one of my baseball heroes, Joe Morgan, second baseman, Red’s legend, Hall of Famer and a good man passed away. And my condolences to the Morgan family and his teammates and to his fans here in Cincinnati and all across the country. He played one year on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now, I’m going to get myself in real trouble, but I have a bad habit of telling you the truth. I happened to grow up in a household in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where, if you wanted to have dinner, you had to be Yankees fan because that was the farm called, the Triple A ball club was a Yankee ball club. And my grandpop was an All-American football player, but he was a great Yankees fan. But it wasn’t hard back in those days. There was Whitey Ford and a few others, but in Delaware, if you are not a Phillies fan, and let me put this way, if I were not a Phillies fan, I’d be sleeping alone. My wife’s a Philly girl. You think I’m kidding. I’m not.

But Joe actually played for a year in the Phillies if my memory serves me correctly, but he had fans all over the country. It’s amazing to be both the heart when he was a second baseman, and the voice as one of the great baseball announcers in history, of the same club. I mean, that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment. And so, my best to his family and to his fans, and he has fans all across the country.
According to BB-Ref, Scranton didn’t become a Yankee minor league affiliate until Joe Biden had been in the Senate for almost 35 years.
   95. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5982844)
Yeah, Clapper, I guess that means we should vote for your guy because he's all about conscientiously getting every fact right.

Seriously, get your political agenda the #### outta this thread. Thanks.
   96. DFA Posted: October 13, 2020 at 05:49 PM (#5982845)
Every manager is good, aside from when they do thunderously dumb things.


An interesting article courtesy 538:
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-orioles-always-win-more-than-they-should-theres-a-reason-for-that/

   97. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5982848)
That is interesting, DFA - but unless I missed it, it lacks any explanation, or even speculation, as to why or how Showalter was (purportedly) able to get consistently better-than-expected performances out of his bullpens. Of course I get that that's a tough thing to get at, but without it, I'm skeptical that there must be causality.
   98. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:12 PM (#5982850)
Yeah, Clapper, I guess that means we should vote for your guy because he's all about conscientiously getting every fact right.
I don’t see that I made any claim that Biden’s apparent misstatement should affect anyone’s vote. It was an interesting aspect of his comments on Joe Morgan, which I quoted in their entirety, and seem appropriate for this thread. You appear to be a bit thin-skinned about anything that doesn’t coincide with what you prefer to see. Not my problem.
   99. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:29 PM (#5982855)
I don’t see that I made any claim that Biden’s apparent misstatement should affect anyone’s vote. It was an interesting aspect of his comments on Joe Morgan, which I quoted in their entirety, and seem appropriate for this thread. You appear to be a bit thin-skinned about anything that doesn’t coincide with what you prefer to see. Not my problem.
”Interesting.” Right. Also please get your disingenuous “who, me??” #### outta this thread. Thanks.
   100. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:34 PM (#5982856)
Scranton/NE PA was among the very first areas to get cable TV, starting in the early 50s. Per people from the area whom I met in the late 60s and early 70s at college, there were lots of Yankee fans in NE PA because the Yankees were carried on TV via cable. Note that Scranton is equidistant to NYC and Philly as well.
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