Joe Morgan, driving force of Big Red Machine, dies at 77

Sports

The Hall of Fame second baseman became the sparkplug of the Big Red Machine and the prototype for baseball’s artificial turf era

Joe Morgan

Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan watches the team’s baseball spring training practice Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CINCINNATI (AP) – The Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan has died.

A family spokesman says he died at his home Sunday in Danville, California. Morgan was suffering from a nerve condition, a form of polyneuropathy.

He became the sparkplug of the Big Red Machine and the prototype for baseball’s artificial turf era.

Morgan was a two-time NL Most Valuable Player, a 10-time All-Star and won five Gold Gloves. He could hit a home run, steal a base and disrupt any game with his daring.

Most of all, the 5’7″ dynamo known for flapping his left elbow drove a Cincinnati team featuring the likes of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez to World Series titles in 1975 and ’76.

Joe Morgan was 77 years old.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine expressed his sympathy Monday:

“Fran and I, along with our children, extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Joe Morgan — the greatest second baseman of all time, a great base runner and hitter, and a gracious and genuinely nice person. He was a player who mastered every detail of the game. We saw him play many times with our older children — Pat, Jill, Becky and John. It was a thrill to watch him! To Brian, Alice, Mark and Anna, he was the voice of Sunday night baseball, when later he was an announcer. He had a unique ability to explain what was happening on the field to the average fan. He was a master at explaining the ‘why’ of baseball. In both business and charity, even after his playing days were over, he continued to be involved in the Cincinnati-area community.”

More stories from WKBN.com:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com