Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan dies at 77

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Cincinnati Reds great Morgan throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Reds take on the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati
FILE PHOTO: Cincinnati Reds great Morgan throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Reds take on the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati

(Reuters) - Hall of Famer and twice World Series champion Joe Morgan, considered one of baseball's greatest second basemen, died on Sunday at the age of 77 after battling a nerve condition, his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, announced on Monday.

Morgan played for five different Major League teams and won the World Series with the Reds in 1975 and 1976. He also won the National League Most Valuable Player award with the team known as the "Big Red Machine" in both those seasons.

After a 22-year career, in which he hit 268 home runs, recorded 1,133 runs batted in and stole 689 bases, Morgan embarked on a career in broadcasting.

"Major League Baseball is deeply saddened by the death of Joe Morgan, one of the best five-tool players our game has ever known and a symbol of all-around excellence," commissioner of baseball Robert Manfred Jr said in a statement.

"Joe was a close friend and an adviser to me, and I welcomed his perspective on numerous issues in recent years. He was a true gentleman who cared about our game and the values for which it stands," Manfred continued.

"Those who knew him - whether as a Sunday Night Baseball broadcaster, a Hall of Fame board member or simply as one of the legends of our National Pastime - are all the better for it."

Morgan's MVP awards came after he led the Reds to World Series victories over the Boston Red Sox in 1975 and when they swept the New York Yankees in 1976.

A 10-time All-Star, Morgan also collected five consecutive Gold Glove awards for his outstanding defensive play at second base with the Reds between 1973 and 1977.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot)