Joe Morgan, Hall of Fame second baseman and a key member of the Cincinnati Reds’ famed Big Red Machine, died on Sunday at the age of 77.
Morgan died at his home in California, a family spokesman told The Associated Press on Monday. He had struggled with various health issues in recent years, including a nerve condition, a form of polyneuropathy.
He spent the majority of his 22-year career with the Reds and the Houston Astros franchise. Along with Pete Rose and fellow Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Tony Perez, Morgan helped the Reds win back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976. Cincinnati also reached the World Series in 1972, Morgan’s first year with the Reds.
Morgan was a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, a 10-time All-Star and a five-time Gold Glove Award winner. He is widely regarded as one of the best second basemen in baseball history and also gained renown for his 25-plus years as a broadcaster after his playing career.
Sympathies were expressed by Red’s CEO Bos Castellini, Rob Manfred, the MLB Commissioner, as well as many other fellow team mates and friends. According to Castellini, Joe was a giant in the game and was adored by the fans in this city.”
Morgan was the NL MVP in 1975 and 1976 and also was named an All-Star in each of his eight seasons with the Reds. He was a .271 career hitter with 268 home runs, 1,133 RBIs, 1,650 runs scored and 689 stolen bases, 11th-most in baseball history.
After spending the 1980 season with Houston, Morgan also played with the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland Athletics late in his career, before retiring after the 1984 season at the age of 41.
Morgan was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
He started his broadcasting career in 1985 and worked at ESPN from 1990 to 2010, serving as a member of the network’s lead baseball broadcast team. Morgan parted ways with ESPN after the 2010 season when he returned to the Reds in the role of special adviser to baseball operations.
Morgan is survived by his wife of 30 years, Theresa; their twin daughters, Kelly and Ashley; and daughters Lisa and Angela from his first marriage to Gloria Morgan.