Better known as the manager of the Boston Red Sox, Morgan played for parts of four years in the majors, hitting .193 in 88 games with two home runs. He came up with the Kansas City A’s and the Milwaukee Braves in 1959, then was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Alvin Dark in 1960. The Phillies eventually sold him to the Cleveland Indians that same season and he had the best run of his big-league career with the Tribe. He hit .298 in 22 games for Cleveland, connecting on his two home runs during the span. He appeared in just four games for the Indians the following year, then returned to the minors, where he stayed for 1962 and 1963. Morgan played in three games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964 in what would be his final appearances in MLB. He played two more years in the minors before retiring.
Morgan had a long and successful career in the minors. He had 1,353 hits and 117 home runs during his 13 years there. He was the International League’s MVP in 1964, when he hit .290 with 16 home runs for Jacksonville. In 2008 he was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career, Morgan joined the Pittsburgh Pirates as a manager in the minors. He was a coach for the Pirates in 1972 and then was voted The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year in 1973. The following season he took over as the manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox and held the position until 1982. In 1985 he joined the Boston Red Sox as a coach and became the team’s manager in the middle of the 1988 season. The Red Sox, who had been struggling, reversed course under Morgan and reeled off 12 straight wins en route to winning the American League East. He led the Red Sox to a second AL East crown in 1990, but lost his job the following season when the team finished second. The Red Sox elected Morgan to their Hall of Fame in 2006.
Joe Morgan – career stats