The little engine that could on the Big Red Machine, Joe Morgan catapulted that club to the next level when he arrived via trade from the Houston Astros before the 1972 season. The trade is one of the best of all-time, when you consider that the Reds not only nabbed Morgan, they got center fielder Cesar Geronimo and starting pitcher Jack Billingham as well. Each played a key role in Cincinnati’s success in subsequent years.
Among the Hall of Fame second basemen, Morgan ranks last in fielding runs, at -47 for his long career. His poor range and relatively low double play rates are the culprits there. But of course, fielding metrics are suspect at best.
- The members of “The Great Eight” on the Big Red Machine were: catcher Johnny Bench, first baseman Tony Perez, second baseman Joe Morgan, shortstop Dave Concepcion, third baseman Pete Rose, left fielder George Foster, center fielder Cesar Geronimo, and right†fielder Ken Griffey. Four of them won an MVP award (combining for six awards in all), they combined for 24 Gold Glove Awards, won four home run titles, six RBI crowns, and made a collective 57 All-Star Games. Six of the eight players had at least 2,000 hits in their careers, and another (Foster) had 1,925.
- The 16 All-Star appearances by Morgan and Concepcion as teammates is a record for double play partners.