Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reds honor 'Great Eight' in celebration of Joe Morgan weekend

Friday was a big night at Great American Ball Park. Not only did the Reds manage to secure a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers, but after the game, they honored arguably the greatest baseball team ever assembled, the "Great Eight," on the field in celebration of Joe Morgan weekend.

One-by-one, the starting lineup from the days of the mighty Big Red Machine were rolled out of the clubhouse and introduced to the crowd for the first time in GABP history. From left-to-right in the picture above: Pete Rose, Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster, Dave Concepcion, Ken Griffey Sr., and Cesar Geronimo. As you might imagine, their mere presence drew large applause and excitement from start-to-finish as dramatic music played through the stadium speaker system.

On Saturday, the Great Eight will participate in a statue dedication for Morgan prior to the afternoon game against the Dodgers. They will also be on field for the "Joe Morgan Day" pregame ceremonies, culminating in a first pitch by the Hall of Fame second baseman.

Morgan, 69, is widely considered one of the greatest second basemen in the history of baseball. In 22 career seasons, 8 of which came with the Reds, Morgan batted .271 with a .392 on-base percentage, drove in 1,133 runs, smacked 268 home runs, stole 689 bases, and recorded 2,517 hits. His best years came as a member of the Reds from 1972 to 1979. He was named an All-Star in each of those years and earned National League MVP honors in '75 and '76.

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