Pitchers don't mind me stealing a base or driving in a run with a single or double. But I see it in their eyes when I'm circling the bases on a home run. They don't like a little man taking them downtown.
- Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan was born in Bonham, Texas, in 1943, and he made his Major League debut with the Houston Colt .45's in 1963. In November of 1971, Morgan was traded to the Reds in exchange for Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart. Along with Morgan, the Reds also received pitcher Jack Billingham, outfielders Cesar Geronimo and Ed Armbrister, and infielder Dennis Menke. After the deal was done, Sparky Anderson told Reds General Manager Bob Howsam, "You just won the pennant for the Cincinnati Reds." Sparky was right. Morgan was the All-Star MVP for the NL Champion Reds in 1972, leading the league in runs scored, walks, and on-base percentage.
Morgan was an All-Star in each of his eight seasons with Cincinnati, and he was a five-time Gold Glove winner at second base. He would go on to win back-to-back NL MVP Awards in 1975 and 1976, posting a career high batting average of .327 in 1975 and a career-high home run and RBI total in 1976 (27 and 111, respectively). After the 1979 season, Joe Morgan left the Reds as a free agent and went on to play five more seasons in the Majors. Morgan was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1987, and he was enshrined in Cooperstown in 1990. The Reds retired his No. 8 in 1998.