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Joe Morgan is my lead off man playing second base. He is the best lead off man I have ever seen. There are players with more speed and more stolen bases, but when it comes to being smart on the base pads and knowing how to get on base, no one does it better than Joe. This is why I have him leading off and playing second base. I know that he batted in the number two spot with the big red machine. But he showed his ability batting lead off with Houston and Philadelphia.
No doubt the success of the teams he played on are do to contributions by Joe Morgan and his vast knowledge of the game. Once on base Joe becomes a terrible thorn in the pitchers side. Nothing is more effective than a good base runner who knows how to rattle Pitchers and throw them off their rhythm. No one was better at this than Joe.
The only way to accomplish this is to get on base, and Joe always seems to find a way to get on base. Sparky Anderson, Joe's Manager from 1972 to 1977 the glory years with the Big Red Machine, claimed to have never once given Joe the "take" sign. That is how much respect Sparky had for Joe's knowledge of the game .
At Joe's induction to the Hall of Fame, during his acceptance speech, he said "I take my vote as a salute to the little guy, the one who doesn't hit 500 home runs. I was one of the guys that did all they could to win. Im proud of my stats, but I dont think I ever got one for Joe Morgan. If I stole a base, it was to help us win a game, and I like to think thats what makes me a little special."
Take a look at Joe's stats, and see why I have him leading off my dream team and playing 2nd base.
last updated 09/20/02