Remembering Joe Morgan: 'Symbol of all-around excellence'

“One of the best five-tool players our game has ever known and a symbol of all-around excellence. Joe often reminded baseball fans that the player smallest in stature on the field could be the most impactful. ... 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. 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. ... Perhaps the finest second baseman who ever lived.” — Commissioner Rob Manfred

View all (3)

___

“Joe wasn’t just the best second baseman in baseball history, he was the best player I ever saw and one of the best people I’ve ever known. He was a dedicated father and husband and a day won’t go by that I won’t think about his wisdom and friendship. He left the world a better, fairer, and more equal place than he found it, and inspired millions along the way.” — Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, a Reds teammate

___

“Joe was a big part of my family during the time we played together and that remained the same long after our careers ended. He was one of those guys who was just special on so many levels in all that he did. Joe was a great player, a great teammate, and a great person. Our group shared some very special moments and experiences that will remain with us forever.”— Hall of Famer Tony Perez, a Reds and Phillies teammate

___

“Flapping that chicken wing, he was a giant slayer. That Reds team, they started to win big once he got there. Oh, man, they would kill your pitchers. It was awful. Look, I could’ve won 20 games pitching for them. I saw it first-hand in Philly with the Wheeze Kids in 1983. He had a great September that put us in the playoffs.” — Gary Matthews, Phillies teammate

___

“Joe was great in so many ways. He was a great player. He was a great representative of the game. And, from a personal standpoint, he was a great friend.” — former Commissioner Bud Selig

___

“ He meant a lot to us, a lot to me, a lot to baseball, a lot to African-Americans around the country, a lot to players that were considered undersized. He was one of the first examples of speed and power for a guy that they said was too small to play. He was the first modern-day (José) Altuve. He was a heck of a person, heck of a guy, great father, great businessman. He was good at whatever he put his mind to.” — Houston manager Dusty Baker

___

“Joe was a giant in the game and was adored by the fans in this city. He had a lifelong loyalty and dedication to this organization that extended to our current team and front office staff. As a cornerstone on one of the greatest teams in baseball history, his contributions to this franchise will live forever. Our hearts ache for his Big Red Machine teammates.” — Cincinnati Reds CEO Bob Castellini

___

“He was singularly committed to becoming the absolute best at his craft, combining his natural and developed skills with a model dedication in pursuit of his dream to become a major league player. Along the way, he inspired, he motivated, and he influenced the success of those around him. ” — Hall chair Jane Forbes Clark

___

“Joe is rightfully remembered as a great player and Hall of Famer — and in my opinion is the greatest second baseman there ever was — but his pioneering efforts are not always as appreciated. He was the first Black or African-American game baseball analyst in prime time on national television and he did that for 21 seasons. He was the pioneering trailblazer among commentators. ... He was also someone whose opinion the commissioner valued and that he sought counsel from. Joe had an influence over the game way beyond what we all saw.” — San Francisco Giants broadcaster Jon Miller, Morgan's ESPN booth partner

___

“This is a huge loss for our game. Joe Morgan was a true superstar in every sense of the word. In the early part of his career, he was one of our first stars, a cornerstone for the Houston Colt .45s and Astros, and a significant reason for the success of the franchise. His contributions will never be forgotten.” — Houston Astros

___

“His passing leaves a hole in the unique fabric of our great game.” — San Francisco Giants president Larry Baer

___

“While Joe Morgan only spent one season of his Hall of Fame career in Philadelphia, he left a mark that won’t soon be forgotten. ... A gentleman first and foremost, Joe was a model citizen on and off the field. He will be missed by baseball fans not just in Philadelphia, but around the world.” —Philadelphia Phillies

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports