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Joe Morgan, a 1990 inductee of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, is celebrating his 75th birthday today. He is the first second baseman to win the National League Most Valuable Player honor back to back, and is considered one of the best to play the position.

Joseph Leonard Morgan was born on this day in 1943 in Bonham, Texas. Short in stature at 5-foot-7, Morgan was recruited by the expansion Houston Colt .45’s and moved to the Houston Astros, playing there for 10 seasons and making the MLB All-Star team in 1966 and 1970. In 1971, Morgan was part of a blockbuster trade to the Cincinnati Reds, and became part of its legendary “Big Red Machine.”

With the Reds, Morgan made the All-Star team eight consecutive times and was the NL MVP in 1975 and 1976. Morgan’s years with the Reds were his most productive, winning the World Series with the team  in 1975 and 1976 while becoming a five-time Golden Glove winner. His number #8 jersey is retired with the Reds.

During the tail end of his career, Morgan bounced around a few teams before calling it a career with the Oakland A’s in 1984. He started a broadcasting career, joining ESPN at one point before creating his own sports show in 2011. In 2010, he rejoined the Reds as a special consultant.

 

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Little Known Black History Fact: Joe Morgan was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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