Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, one of Oakland’s greatest players, dies at 77

So many baseball greats have passed away in the past couple of weeks.

Bob Gibson the Hall of Fame Pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals

Whitey Ford the Hall of Fame Pitcher for the New York Yankees

And today Joe Morgan. He was born in Texas, spent much of his career in Cincinnati but ended up playing for both the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.

Joe’s most famous moment with the Giants occurred when he hit a home run on the final day of the 1982 season and knocked the hated Los Angeles Dodgers out of playoff contention.

A link to the 1982 moment follows.

Rest in Peace Joe.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 10.12.2020

Though Joe Morgan’s time with the San Francisco Giants was relatively short, he is responsible for one of the most memorable moments in the team’s West Coast history. In the final game of the 1982 regular season — one day after the Dodgers had eliminated the upstart Giants from playoff contention — Morgan’s three-run homer in the seventh put the Giants ahead to stay and knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason.

Joe Morgan, who rose from the baseball-rich playgrounds of Oakland to the Hall of Fame, died Sunday night at his home in Danville at the age of 77. The cause of death was non-specified polyneuropathy.

Morgan had dealt with a number of health issues in recent years.

Joe Morgan II 10.12.2020

Joe Morgan and daughter Ashley after Gymnasium competition at Stanford – 2010

The two-time National League MVP, a second baseman and key cog in Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s, got his start playing at Brookfield Elementary in Oakland, ultimately taking his place at Cooperstown in 1990 with a first-ballot election.

Morgan became an active member, backing election reforms to allow inductees more involvement in the election process and also advocating for a steroid-free Hall.

Morgan’s 22-year big-league career ended with the A’s in 1984 and included a brief but memorable stint with the Giants. On the final day of the 1982 season, his second and last with the Giants, he hit a three-run homer off Terry Forster at Candlestick Park to beat the Dodgers and cost them the NL West title.

After retirement, Morgan launched a decades-long broadcasting career, with one season in Cincinnati. The Giants then hired him for what became an eight-year run doing play-by-play and analysis on TV.

“He had a seemingly endless supply of energy, of life, like a force of nature,” said Jon Miller, Morgan’s partner for 21 seasons on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”

“I’m sort of in a state of disbelief right now.”

Retired Giants manager Bruce Bochy called the news of Morgan’s death “horrible.” Bochy was a Reds fan growing up because that was his father’s team and said he idolized players like Morgan and Johnny Bench.

In 1980, Bochy and Morgan were teammates on the division-winning Astros team that fell to the Phillies in the NLCS.

“He took me under his wing and really told me not just great stories about Cincinnati, but he taught me the game of baseball,” Bochy said. “What a great man. He was involved in so many charities and things. I felt lucky and honored to spend some time with him.”

Morgan, who was born in Bonham, Texas, on Sept. 19, 1943, got his first glove when he was 4 months old, courtesy of his father, Leonard, who had played semi-pro ball. Leonard Morgan moved the family to Oakland when Joe was 8, and he was a baseball standout as a youth, a three-time Babe Ruth League All-Star.