Joe Morgan, Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer, dead at 77

Major League Baseball has lost yet another Hall of Famer in 2020.

Joe Morgan, a 10-time All-Star and two-time National League MVP for the Cincinnati Reds’ powerful “Big Red Machine” championship teams in the 1970s, has died. He passed away at his home Sunday in Danville, California, a family spokesman told the AP. Morgan was suffering from a nerve condition, a form of polyneuropathy.

The five-time Gold Glove-winning second baseman, who was elected to Cooperstown on the first ballot in 1970, is the sixth Hall of Famer to die in 2020, joining Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Whitey Ford.

Morgan began a 22-year MLB career with Houston in 1963 and played nine seasons for the Colt .45s and Astros before being traded to the Reds in an eight-player deal in 1971.

The Little General won back-to-back MVP awards, the only second baseman to do so, in 1975-76, winning the World Series in both years alongside Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, George Foster and Ken Griffey Sr.

In those two seasons, Morgan averaged 22 home runs, 102 RBIs, 110 runs scored and 64 stolen bases, with a slash line of .324/.456/.541 for an OPS of .997. He finished his career with 268 homers, 2,517 hits, 1,650 runs scored and 689 steals.

A generation of young fans imitated the 5-foot-7 left-handed batter’s trademark flapping of his left elbow during his batting stance.

Morgan later became a longtime TV analyst for NBC and ESPN and he was an outspoken critic of players who used performance-enhancing drugs.

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