Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Many more Michigan Men part 6: Hal Morris

Previously: Part 1 (Chris Sabo), Part 2 (Kelly Dransfeldt, Scott Kamieniecki, Heath Murray, and Geoff Zahn), Part 3 (Mike Matheny), Part 4 (Steve Ontiveros), Part 5 (Drew Henson)

A month or two ago I embarked upon a project of scanning all of the cards in my collection of any other Michigan Baseball alumni not already included on my Player Collections page. That includes anything that arrived via trade, was already in my collection otherwise, or was part of a complete set (or set in-progress). As you can imagine it took quite a while to get everything done, but about 250+ cards later, I finally have something to show for it! These posts will show off new player collections or new cards for existing PCs. Some players will join the group that I supercollect and others will be guys I just pick up whenever I can. If you have anything I don't and feel like trading, please let me know as I'd love to build up these collections!

Today I have for you ANOTHER Wolverine that went on to play for either the Yankees, the Reds, or both!  I'm referring this time to 1B/OF Hal Morris.  An Alabama man who played high school ball in Indiana before heading northeast to Ann Arbor, Hal was a college teammate of future Reds (and pro teammates!) Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo as well as future Yankee (but NOT teammate, just missed by a year) Scott Kamieniecki.  The Reds trio led Michigan to a fantastic 1983 season (a very good year, if I do say so myself) that started with a 33-0 record and ended with a third place College World Series finish.

The Yanks drafted Morris in the 8th round in '86, gave him 30 appearances over '88 and '89, then flipped him for a guy that lost 19 games the following season plus a guy that never cracked the Majors again.  Sound familiar, Yankees fans from the 80s-early 90s?  Meanwhile, Morris responded to the trade by hitting .340 in 107 games on his way to a third-place finish in the ROY voting.  Oh, and he topped that by being part of the Reds' World Champions that season.  And by "part," I mean he drove in the Series-winning run after a fantastic NLCS.

Hal was a mainstay in Cincy until after the '97 season when he signed with the Royals, for whom he had a pretty solid season.  He returned to the Reds in '99 and remained there until the Tigers purchased his contract in July of the following year, and that's where he finished his career.  In 13 seasons he compiled a very nice .304 AVG to go with a .361 OBP.  He was by no means a slugger, run-producer, or speedster, but Hal did finish his career with a WAR of 13.3, and a 13-year career is nothing to sniff at.  So here's to yet another Michigan Yankee/Red who also played for the Tigers!

Here's how my Morris PC shakes out right now, to go along with this awesome Fan Favorites auto:

There's still a few players left, plus I'm way behind on posting all my other stuff, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I'll get to it eventually, I promise!

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