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Vern Morgan

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Vernon Thomas Morgan

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[edit] Biographical Information

Nineteen year old Vern Morgan was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs on April 16, 1948. He was assigned to their class B Selma Cloverleafs farm club, where he played 115 games at third base and hit .331 with five home runs for the Southeastern League team that finished dead last, 34 games back. The Cubs would move Morgan up a notch in 1949 and the second-year man would play 112 games for the class A Macon Peaches. He alternated between third and second base and also the outfield as the Peaches won both the South Atlantic League pennant and play-offs and Morgan hit .296 with 4 homers.

1950 would see Morgan with three different teams - the Des Moines Bruins, the Nashville Vols and the Macon club again; with all the travel, he managed to come out with a .297 average in 117 games for the three clubs. Vern would have a little of the same again in 1951 appearing in 136 outings, spending 123 games with Des Moines and 13 with the Springfield Cubs, primarily at the third base slot, and hit a combined .287 with nine homers for the year. As happened to a lot of young men at this time, the United States Military would give Morgan a call and he would serve the next two years (1952-53) in the Armed Services during the Korean War.

Morgan would be back in baseball with the Des Moines team in 1954 and had his break-out season, hitting .322 with 16 home runs in 112 games. He would get an opportunity to show his stuff at Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs gave him an early August call and Vern would appear in 24 games and close out his debut with a .234 average. Vern would be back with Chicago in 1955 but for only seven games and on May 1, 1955 he concluded his major league run with a .225 average in just 31 games. This would be it for Vern in the majors.

Morgan would turn up in 1956 with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association and would spend the next five seasons (1956-60) in their line-up with his best year coming in 1957 when he hit .335 with 14 home runs and made the All-Star team. After the 1960 season, the now 31-year-old would turn his attention to managing and spent the next four seasons as a player-manager, first for the Fort Walton Beach Jets in 1961. He then spent the next three years (1962-64) in the same role with the Bismarck-Mandan Pards of the Northern League. 1964 finished up any active playing Vern would do and it also gave him a 15-year run (1948-64) in the minors where he finished up with a career .301 hitting average along with 116 home runs in 1,539 games.

At age 36, Morgan wasn't quite ready to quit and he would spend the next four seasons (1965-68) as the manager of the Wilson Tobs of the class A Carolina League, then becoming a coach from 1969 to 1974 for the Minnesota Twins of the American League. Morgan would die on November 8, 1975, at age 47 in Minneapolis, MN.

[edit] Sources

Baseball Players of the 1950s

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1961 Fort Walton Beach Jets Alabama-Florida League 61-55 3rd Minnesota Twins none
1962 Bismarck-Mandan Pards Northern League 60-62 6th Minnesota Twins
1963 Bismarck-Mandan Pards Northern League 56-63 3rd Minnesota Twins 6th* (9-20)
1964 Bismarck-Mandan Pards Northern League 39-80 6th Minnesota Twins 5th* (13-18)
1965 Wilson Tobs Carolina League 68-75 6th Minnesota Twins
1966 Wilson Tobs Carolina League 72-65 5th Minnesota Twins
1967 Wilson Tobs Carolina League 61-72 11th Minnesota Twins
1968 Wilson Tobs Carolina League 71-68 5th Minnesota Twins Lost in 2nd round

* Baukol Playoffs based on last 30 days of season

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