Baseball Hall of Fame
Born: Sep 19, 1943
At age 19 and just 5'7", second baseman Joe Morgan found few teams interested in signing an undersized player from Bonham, Texas. The Houston Colt .45s were interested and signed him in 1962. Their gamble paid off royally when, in his 1965 rookie season, "Little Joe" clubbed 14 homers, scored 100 runs and stole 20 bases to earn Rookie of the Year honors from The Sporting News. He was a dynamite runner, stealing 219 bases in just over seven full seasons with the team. In his ten seasons in Houston, Morgan batted .261 with 72 homers and 219 steals.
But as good as he was with the Astros, Morgan truly blossomed when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1971 season. It remains the single worst trade in franchise history. No longer encumbered by the stifling effects of the Astrodome, Morgan exploded offensively on his way to back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in 1975 and 1976. He returned to Houston in 1980 and played a key role in the team's first championship season.
After that, he played for San Francisco, Philadelphia and Oakland. For his full career, he hit .271 with 268 homers, 1133 RBIs and 689 steals and reached the postseason seven times. He won five straight Gold Gloves for his play at second base (1973-1977).
Morgan was the inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990 and is now remembered as one of the greatest second baseman in major league history. Not bad for a little kid from Bonham.