Joe Morgan, the miniature power plant that operated the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati in the mid-1970s, has died, a family and team spokesman said Monday.
He was 77 years old.
Morgan died at his home in Danville, California, a suburb of San Francisco, on Sunday, according to a family spokesman.
“The Reds’ family is heartbroken,” Red CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement. “Joe was a giant in the game and was adored by fans in this city.”
The Auckland-born was named MVP of the National League in 1
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, after a 22-season career with the Houston Colt .45, Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phyllis and Auckland A.
The ten-time All-Star Game selection was a universal offensive force, hitting 268 home runs and stealing 689 bases. He also had a sharp eye on the plate, forcing pitchers to walk him 1,865 times, which increased his career on a percentage basis to .392.
Morgan was also a magician in defense, winning five Golden Gloves awards as the best second baseman in his league.
Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” was made up of formidable strikers Morgan, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and George Foster, and defenders such as Dave Concepcion and Cesar Geronimo.
The 1975 World Series is best known for avoiding Carlton Fisk’s home from a left-field foul, which won Game 6 for the Boston Red Sox. An NBC camera dramatically captured Fisk, waving his arms wildly, begging the ball to stay fair.
But it was Morgan who struck the decisive blow won by the championship with an RBI single in the ninth inning to break a 3-3 draw in Game 7. This hit, which marks a run, brought home teammate Ken Griffi, the father of the future Hall of Fame appointed Ken Griffi Jr.
Morgan’s death came less than a week after the 91-year-old Yankees Whitey Ford’s Pitcher Hall of Fame expired.
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Associated Press contributed.