Joe Morgan Dead

Greatest 2b

Another HoF gone.

Really? Was he sick?

Just reading some articles that say he had been suffering from a nerve condition.

I got attached to him when I followed the 1980 Astros because I played second base, too. I remember being stunned, looking at the back of his baseball card, that he had played for other teams. Turned out to be one of the all-time greats (though I had missed that part by 1980.)

I was always fascinated by the players whose cards had to use small typeface to fit all their data.

I seem to recall something about current health issues but I can’t recall specifics.

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Watching him process the game while at bat or especially the basepaths was a joy

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When I was in about second grade at Elrod Elementary School, Joe Morgan made a visit at the behest of one of the teachers, who was a friend. I remember thinking, “he looks just like the card”. I mainly remember the kids crowding around him on the playground and him smiling. It was cool.

I was distraught at him being traded to the Reds. I blamed Tommy Helms. Morgan was the first in a long line of superb Astro second basemen.

R.I.P., Joe.

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I have a scout friend who worked for the Astros at the time. I am not saying this is true, but this is what he told me:

Morgan and Wynn were running buddies and were getting into some trouble. Management (he did not say who) decided they were not good for each other and decided to break them up. They decided to keep Wynn and to trade Morgan.

He had leukemia a few years ago. He got a bone marrow transplant from a daughter.

With Spec Richardson and Harry Walker I wouldn’t be surprised.

I came home from school the day Morgan was traded, and saw my father crestfallen. He told me of the deal, and predicted he’d put Cincinnati in the World Series, probably multiple times. He was a second baseman in a semi-pro league and knew his stuff

I had a Colt .45 rookie card with Joe Morgan and Sonny Jackson as “Houston’s Double Play Duo” or some such. Morgan replaced Nellie Fox in that Colt .45 lineup if I’m not mistaken.

Meanwhile guys who won 8 World Series in a row were drunk as hell crawling around making circuits outside the 85th floor of the Chrysler Building.

Spec may have traded away a championship during his tenure.

And then they traded Wynn a couple years later.

John Mayberry for Jim York, good times

…and Mike Cuellar, and Rusty Staub…