Bob Gibson 1966 #320
by William Szczepanek
This 1969 Topps card of Joe Morgan is not his rookie card and it represents the year in which he batted only .236 for the Houston Astros, his final year with the team before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds. I do not understand why this card is rated as highly as it is, but it does make sense that Joe Morgan is a part of the Golden Age of Baseball Cards.
Joe Morgan played for 22 seasons primarily for the Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds with some action with San Francisco and Philadelphia before ending his career with Oakland.
Joe Morgan helped his team win in many ways. He led the league in walks in 1965 (97), 1972 (115), 1975 (132) and 1980 (93). He led the league in runs scored (122) in 1972 and triples (11) in 1971. Joe complied a career .271 batting average with 268 home runs.
His forte was getting on base. He lead the league in on-base-percentage 4 times in 1972 (.417), 1974 (.427), 1975 (.466), and 1976 (.444) which paces him 93rd in career OPS with a .392 average. Morgan ranks 34th all-time in runs scored with 1,650.
A ten time All Star, 2 time MVP (1975 and 1976) and 5-time Gold Glover, Morgan was a driving force for the Big Red Machine in the 1970s leading the Reds to 2 World Series Championships in 1975 and 1976. While never a league leader in stolen bases he ranks 11th all-time in this category.
Morgan started his baseball broadcasting career in 1985. He has been noted for being highly critical of certain players and a specific critic of sabermetrics, a mathematical analysis of baseball using statistics.
Interestingly enough, the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract rated Morgan the best second baseman in baseball history, ahead of #2 Eddie Collins and #3 Rogers Hornsby. Joe Morgan the announcer disagrees with this analysis. Over the years I have probably disagreed with more of what Joe Morgan has had to say as a baseball analysts than any other analyst I have ever listened to, but in this case I would have to agree with Joe.
Joe Morgan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.