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Joe Morgan: A Life in Baseball Hardcover – April, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393034690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393034691
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A leader of Cincinnati's Big Red Machine of the 1970s, twice named the National League's Most Valuable Player and recently elected to the Hall of Fame, second baseman Morgan is one of the outstanding players of the last half-century. Raised in a middle-class family in Texas and California, he began his career with the Houston Astros in 1965, played for the Reds from 1972 to 1979 and ended his playing days with stints in other cities. Although Morgan was admired as a team player and enjoyed the respect and affection of his colleagues, his memoirs, written with Falkner ( LT ), are not pollyanna-ish. Morgan is very specific about the people he didn't like and is outspoken about racism, which he believes pervades the sport. The resulting book is among the most candid and interesting of its genre. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A good sports autobiography usually features a prominent subject who is a former member of at least one successful team, along with the subject's interesting, enlightening, or humorous recollections. This work fulfills the above criteria and, in addition, is the first adult work on Morgan. Morgan, twice winner of the Most Valuable Player Award while playing second base for the Cincinnati Reds, made four World Series appearances and competed in numerous playoff and pennant races with four other teams over a 20-year career. Falkner is the author or coauthor of a number of well-regarded sports books, including biographies of Billy Martin ( The Last Yankee , S. & S., 1992), Sadaharu Oh ( Sadaharu Oh: A Zen Way of Baseball , LJ 6/1/84), and Lawrence Taylor ( LT: Living on the Edge , Times Bks., 1987). Here, the authors offer a lively book that not only recounts Morgan's career and life but also addresses the major problems currently facing professional baseball: economics, racism, drugs, and the overall quality of the game. Recommended for most sports collections.
- John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, N.J.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jack Maybrick on June 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This relatively small volume is like its author. It delivers a fierce line drive which splits the alley and rolls to the wall for extra bases. One regards this book in the same way that he looks at the little guy sliding into second or third base afterwards and wonders, not for the first time, how he could have hit the ball so hard!
Joe Morgan's "A Life in Baseball" is the story of an intensely driven individual who overcame the twin handicaps of race and small physical stature to become a Hall of Fame second baseman and a crucial component of one of baseball's most famous dynasties.
Morgan's dedication rings forcefully in each word of this volume, and so do the same affability and sense of humor that he displays in the broadcast booth. Yet he never forgets that baseball, like most other endeavors, is a team sport, and that sacrifice of time, effort, and personal aggrandizement is necessary for the good of the team. The Big Red Machine not only required the talent of players like Morgan but their attitude as well. This is a man willing and eager to share what he has with others.
As described by Morgan, the smallness of other baseball men such as Harry Walker and Bill Virdon - in moral, if not in physical stature - stands out in stark contrast. Walker was an original Brooklyn Dodger who harassed his teammate, Jackie Robinson, and the revelations about his stewardship of the Houston Astros shouldn't surprise anyone. It's startling to realize that the trade that sent Morgan, Jack Billingham, and Cesar Geronimo to the Cincinnati Reds and engendered the Big Red Machine was largely driven by Walker's grudge against Morgan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By COOL JEWEL on March 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ENJOYED THIS BOOK. I THINK JOE MORGAN DOES A NICE JOB DESCRIBING HIS CAREER AND A BIT ABOUT HIS LIFE AND FAMILY. JOE IS A GOOD COMMENTATOR FOR ESPN AND I RESPECT HIS OPINIONS. I REALLY ENJOYED READING ABOUT THE BIG RED MACHINE AND HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH SPARKY, PETE, JOHNNY AND TONY. I THINK REDS AND PHILLIE FANS WOULD ENJOY THIS THE MOST. BUT ANYONE INTETRESTED IN BASEBALL WOULD ENJOY THIS. RECOMMENDED.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William C. Harrison on August 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Joe Morgan is an intelligent, interesting guy who was maybe the best second baseman ever. He writes about his career in an interesting way, giving you some insights about everything that happened to him from the Colt 45's up until when he retired from the A's around 20 years later.

I liked the fact that he didn't spend too much time about his upbringing and early sports career. Some athelete bios take a lot of time explaining what happened to them in the third grade championship game or something, and I am more interested in hearing about things that I am familiar with.

Joe goes over his battles with managers and gm's, but what I came away with mostly is how he was such a team guy. Every team he played on, you got the sense that his main mission was the team winning, not what his stats were.

He talks about his seasons from the standpoint of "we" a lot more than "I" did this or that. It's pretty refresing, especially coming from a true superstar who could very easily brag on invidual accomplishments.

In fact, it's pretty clear the thing he's most proud of is being on the Big Red Machine, which takes up a big chunk of the book.

One story he talked about that I did disagree with him on was the story of Ken Griffey's run at the '76 batting title. Bill Madlock and Griffy were locked in neck and neck, and Madlock took many days off against pitchers he didnt like, etc, trying to win the title.

Morgan talked Griffey into sitting at the end too, when it looked like he could clinch by doing so. Sparky Anderson told Joe that it would not be very manly to do so, but Morgan and some of the other Reds(excluding Pete Rose, who of course was for playing no matter what) convinced him to sit.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Navy Bean on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Morgan says he won't buy into sabrematics because he knows more about baseball than any stat-analyst because he's played baseball. Well, Joe, following that brilliance, it stands that I know more about books than you because I've actually read a book. And it's apparent from your delusional self-congratulatory tone throughout this book that you don't have the slighest idea how to entertain someone with the written word.

I've read on some message boards that the only book he's ever admitted to reading is Star Jones new book because he's alleged to say he's attracted to her. Which I think is a crock because I've heard it rumored that he's emotionally linked to former MLB pitcher Tim Spooneyberger.
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