Joe Morgan (morgajo01)

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Joseph Michael Morgan

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Biographical Information[edit]

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Joe Morgan played four seasons in the majors but is much better known for his long minor league and major league managerial career.

Joe is a Massachusetts native who attended Boston College at the same time as Mike Roarke. He was an All-American hockey player at Boston College. In baseball, Morgan was scouted and signed by the Boston Braves in June of 1952. He broke into the major leagues with the 1959 Milwaukee Braves, who tied for first place after the regular season with the Los Angeles Dodgers (the Braves would lose the pennant in a three-game playoff against the Dodgers). Joe Morgan was not with the Braves for this playoff, having been sold to the Kansas City Athletics in August of that year. He was one of a number of players who tried to fill in at second base for the Braves that season, following an illness by incumbent Red Schoendienst, but the Braves were never able to find a competent replacement.

The 1959 Athletics also featured future managers Whitey Herzog and Dick Williams. Roger Maris was also a 24-year-old outfielder on this Athletics' team.

Morgan was named MVP of the International League with the Jacksonville Suns in 1964, and appeared in 3 games as a pinch-hitter with the St. Louis Cardinals, who went on to win the World Series.

Joe Morgan began managing in the minor leagues in 1966. He managed the Raleigh Pirates in 1966 and 1967, leading them to the best record in the Carolina League in 1967. He moved up to the AA York Pirates in 1968 and 1969, leading them to the best record in 1969. Morgan moved up again to the AAA Columbus Jets in 1970 and the Charleston Charlies of the International League in 1971. He coached on the Pirates' major league staff in 1972, then returned to Charleston in 1973, leading them to the best record in the league. Moving to the Boston Red Sox organization, Morgan managed the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox from 1974 to 1982, having the league's best record in 1977.

Morgan was on the major league coaching staff from 1985 until taking over near the all-star break for John McNamara as interim manager of the 1988 Red Sox. The team immediately went on a huge winning streak that started with a walk-off game winning home run by Kevin Romine. The streak included a 20-game home winning streak at Fenway Park. The win streak along with Joe's likable local persona made for a quick celebrity and the team's turnaround was known as "Morgan's Magic". The Red Sox streak eventually ended but they still won the AL East title before getting swept in the 1988 ALCS by Oakland. After the season, the interim tag was removed from his title and he became manager of the Red Sox. In 1989, Joe was not able to win with the Red Sox like he had when he first took over. After taking some heat from the local media, Morgan guided the Red Sox to another AL East title in 1990. He was known for quirky hunches like putting five players in the infield in a road game tied in the 9th inning against the Baltimore Orioles. After the 1991 season Joe was replaced by Butch Hobson as manager.

His minor league teams show a record of 1,140-1,102 in 16 seasons, while his major league totals are 301-262 in 3 1/2 seasons. In 2008 he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.

Other Facts[edit]

  • Known for his catch phrase "six two and even". Morgan picked this up from Joe Schultz, one of his minor-league managers, who was also fond of using it. Schultz never told him what it meant, and Morgan didn't find out until he had been out of baseball for 15 years. It refers to odds on horse races.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Preceded by
John McNamara
Boston Red Sox Manager
1988-1991
Succeeded by
Butch Hobson

Major and Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1966 Raleigh Pirates Carolina League 71-66 6th Pittsburgh Pirates
1967 Raleigh Pirates Carolina League 77-65 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost in 2nd Round
1968 York Pirates Eastern League 58-82 5th Pittsburgh Pirates League Champs
1969 York Pirates Eastern League 89-50 1st Pittsburgh Pirates playoffs cancelled
1970 Columbus Jets International League 81-59 2nd Pittsburgh Pirates Lost League Finals
1971 Charleston Charlies International League 78-62 3rd Pittsburgh Pirates Lost in 1st Round
1973 Charleston Charlies International League 85-60 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost League Finals
1974 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 57-87 8th Boston Red Sox
1975 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 53-87 8th Boston Red Sox
1976 Rhode Island Red Sox International League 68-70 5th Boston Red Sox
1977 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 80-60 1st Boston Red Sox Lost League Finals
1978 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 81-59 2nd Boston Red Sox
1979 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 66-74 5th Boston Red Sox
1980 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 62-77 7th Boston Red Sox
1981 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 67-73 6th Boston Red Sox
1982 Pawtucket Red Sox International League 67-71 5th Boston Red Sox
1988 Boston Red Sox American League 46-31 1st Boston Red Sox Lost ALCS replaced John McNamara (43-42) on July 14
1989 Boston Red Sox American League 83-79 3rd Boston Red Sox
1990 Boston Red Sox American League 88-74 1st Boston Red Sox Lost ALCS
1991 Boston Red Sox American League 84-78 3rd Boston Red Sox

Further Reading[edit]

  • Rory Costello: "Joe Morgan", in Bill Nowlin and Leslie Heaphy, ed.: The 1986 Boston Red Sox: There Was More Than Game 6, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2016. pp. 283-288. ISBN 978-1-943816-19-4

Related Sites[edit]