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RIP Joe Morgan

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  • RIP Joe Morgan

    Passed away per Nightengale. 2020 claims yet another baseball icon.

  • #2
    Rest In Peace.
    Baseball breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. ― A. Bartlett Giamatti,

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    • #3
      Sheesh, that a terrible month or so for HOF ballplayers. Seaver, Brock, Gibson, Ford, and now Joe Morgan.

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      • #4
        We lose another great. Our Nellie Fox when he was a coach with the Astros worked very hard with Joe Morgan and helped make him a Hall of Famer. Joe never forgot how Fox helped him and spoke at Nellie's HOF induction. That Big Red Machine team of the 1970s was a lot of fun to watch with guys like Morgan, Rose, Foster, Perez and Bench.
        Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 10-12-2020, 01:12 PM.
        Batting in the second position for the White Sox, number 2, the second baseman Nelson Fox.

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        • #5
          Wow. He was younger than Ford and Gibson, so this comes as more of a shock. I always enjoyed the irony that the stats said that Joe Morgan was one of the greatest players of all time, but Joe Morgan himself was skeptical of baseball analytics.
          "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
          -- Thucydides

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          • #6
            Link:

            https://www.yahoo.com/sports/hall-of...151846967.html

            Also a fantastic color commentator for years on various networks.
            I want my $2

            I wasn't in the last can. I was in the first can. You started at the wrong end. - Tosh

            If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. - GH 1943-2001

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
              We lose another great. Our Nellie Fox when he was a coach with the Astros worked very hard with Joe Morgan and helped make him a Hall of Famer. Joe never forgot how Fox helped him and spoke at Nellie's HOF induction. That Big Red Machine team of the 1970s was a lot of fun to watch with guys like Morgan, Rose, Foster, Perez and Bench.
              Fox wasn't just Morgan's coach. Fox was the second baseman Morgan replaced in Houston. Fox was the regular second baseman for the Houston Colts (in Texas, that's what some people were still calling them in 1966, although their official name was the Colt 45s). The future Hall of Famer was replaced by future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan who played all but a few games at second for the 1965 Houston Astros, who had moved from the rickety old, mosquito-infested Colt stadium to an auditorium next door built especially for baseball. Fox only appeared once at second in 1965, playing a few more games at first and third, mostly appearing as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. He worked with Morgan during spring training and into the season. When he was released in July, he stayed on with the team as a coach, continuing to develop Morgan defensively. He had nothing to do with the chicken thing Morgan used to do at the plate, but working with Morgan probably kept him in baseball as a coach.

              Fox was really an outstanding coach, and I've wondered how Morgan's career would have ended up without him. Off-topic, but when Ted Williams was managing the Senators (future Texas Rangers), he employed Fox as a coach. Fox even wrote the bunting page in Ted Williams book The Science of Hitting. I posted this on the old site, but I saw Fox hitting pop-foul fungos to a Rangers catcher before a game in 1972 (before I got his autograph). Incredibly he was facing center field from the batter's box with the catcher crouched behind the plate. Fox died from cancer three years later. Now 45 years later, Joe Morgan is dead. He went into announcing instead of coaching, but for decades we'll be hearing about the baseball lives Morgan touched.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TDog View Post

                Fox wasn't just Morgan's coach. Fox was the second baseman Morgan replaced in Houston. Fox was the regular second baseman for the Houston Colts (in Texas, that's what some people were still calling them in 1966, although their official name was the Colt 45s). The future Hall of Famer was replaced by future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan who played all but a few games at second for the 1965 Houston Astros, who had moved from the rickety old, mosquito-infested Colt stadium to an auditorium next door built especially for baseball. Fox only appeared once at second in 1965, playing a few more games at first and third, mostly appearing as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. He worked with Morgan during spring training and into the season. When he was released in July, he stayed on with the team as a coach, continuing to develop Morgan defensively. He had nothing to do with the chicken thing Morgan used to do at the plate, but working with Morgan probably kept him in baseball as a coach.

                Fox was really an outstanding coach, and I've wondered how Morgan's career would have ended up without him. Off-topic, but when Ted Williams was managing the Senators (future Texas Rangers), he employed Fox as a coach. Fox even wrote the bunting page in Ted Williams book The Science of Hitting. I posted this on the old site, but I saw Fox hitting pop-foul fungos to a Rangers catcher before a game in 1972 (before I got his autograph). Incredibly he was facing center field from the batter's box with the catcher crouched behind the plate. Fox died from cancer three years later. Now 45 years later, Joe Morgan is dead. He went into announcing instead of coaching, but for decades we'll be hearing about the baseball lives Morgan touched.
                Morgan was really good as a color guy on ESPN Sunday Nights. Always enjoyed listening to what he had to say.
                As far as Nellie goes, I'm pretty sure he was a candidate for the Senators managing job but lost out to Teddy Ballgame who wound up making him a coach.

                Batting in the second position for the White Sox, number 2, the second baseman Nelson Fox.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

                  Morgan was really good as a color guy on ESPN Sunday Nights. Always enjoyed listening to what he had to say.
                  As far as Nellie goes, I'm pretty sure he was a candidate for the Senators managing job but lost out to Teddy Ballgame who wound up making him a coach.
                  The Senators had to talk Williams into managing, according to his autobiography. He didn't seek out the job. Of course, he had never managed or coached in the majors. And initially he did help the Senators, but mainly as a hitting coach and a figure of respect. I heard, and by this point I was only spending my summers and a few holidays in the DFW Metroplex, that Fox was up for the Rangers job when left voluntarily, GM Joe Burke passed up Williams' recommendation, Fox, for Whitey Herzog. I'm not sure if Burke was fired at the same time Herzog was hired so that the Rangers who hire Billy Martin, who had just been fired by the Tigers. (Old newspapers would be needed to answer such questions, but at this time there were a few September GM firings and immediate managerial changes -- 1970 White Sox dumping Ed Short replacing Don Gutteridge in that order in September, for example.) This was before Herzog went on to the Royals and Cardinals and before Martin went to the Yankees and A's, The fact that such high-profile managers would both manager the last-place, 105-loss Rangers might be fodder for a trivia question. In any case, Fox left baseball after 1972, and didn't live to see the scope of the Herzog and Martin successes.

                  The difference between being a baseball announcer or color man and being a coach or a manager is that with broadcasters people remember personality. Morgan, I believe when a different Joe Morgan was hired to manage the Red Sox, said his Joe Morgan job was easier. Martin and Herzog (and sadly Robin Ventura) are remembered for their teams' successes and too often failures -- the good is oft interred with their bones. Coaches generally don't get the credit they deserve. Charlie Lau did, but sometimes they get too much credit as in the case of Rudy Jaramillo who was exposed after leaving the Rangers. Coaches are most likely scapegoats for weak managers. But most coaches are anonymous. When Bill Adair died in 2002, his AP obituary led with him being manager of the White Sox for 10 games in 1970. I later mentioned this to Bill Melton, who asked me how they could leave out what a great coach he was, seeming put off that the writer considered Adair filling out the lineup card for 10 games in last place to be his most noteworthy achievement. Melton used the word "teacher", having worked with Adair coming up, learning to play the infield. Fox probably fit into that category. It wasn't just a future Hall of Fame second basemen he coached, but if he hadn't been helping the rookie who was going to take his job, he might not have gone directly into major league coaching after his release.

                  Morgan to many was one of the faces of baseball when he was a broadcaster after he was a Hall of Fame second baseman. Like so many of the stars who have passed this year, his contributions to baseball are out there and don't need to be researched and analyzed to be appreciated.

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