Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Morgan gets hero's welcome
Hall of Famer glad to see Cinergy
By Dustin Dow email@example.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Joe Morgan didn't attend the final Major League Baseball game at Cinergy Field because of contractual obligations to broadcast ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball game of the week. But playing in Monday's Farewell to Riverfront/Cinergy Field softball game meant a lot to the former Big Red Machine second baseman.
I wish I could have been here for the final game, but I had to work, he said. But it's always special for me to be back here. Anytime you get all these great players together, it's a special moment.
Morgan received a standing ovation from fans the first time he walked onto the field to watch the home run derby, an hour and a half before the game started.
The reception I got was great, he said. That meant a lot to me because I couldn't get one (Sunday) night.
Morgan played for the Reds from 1972-1979 and won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1975 and 1976, both world championship years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
Morgan couldn't pick out a favorite memory, however.
I played with some of the greatest players to ever play the game, he said. When you're playing with those guys, you make a lot of memories, so I don't have a specific one.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Another former Reds great, Dave Parker, played for the Major League All-Stars.
Parker, who missed Sunday's ceremonies, played 11 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates before joining the Reds from 1984-1987. His best year in Cincinnati was 1985 when he hit .312 with 34 home runs and 125 RBI.
Parker was unable to attend Sunday's game because of a commitment with the Pirates.
Pittsburgh had an All-Star reunion on Sunday, he said. But I was in town by Sunday night for Pete's dinner at the Waterfront.
TOO MANY TATTOOS: Rose spoke to former Reds Nasty Boy reliever Rob Dibble, who works as an on-air personality for ESPN radio and television. Rose was astonished at the number of tattoos Dibble now has, some of which were public relations stunts to promote ESPN Radio's The Dan Patrick Show.
I saw him (Dibble), and I said, "Turn around. Let me see the other side,' Rose said. They ought to have him show them on ESPN. Every biker in the world would be watching that show.
IT'S OUTTA HERE: George Foster, a Reds outfielder from 1972-1981 and the 1977 National League home run champion, won the home run derby by hitting eight.
Immediately following the contest, Foster was presented a plaque and got on the public address system and said, Let's all get together and put Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame.
SHE'S BACK: Marge Schott, who owned the Reds for 14 years until 1999, was introduced before the game to a 20-second ovation from fans.
TIME FOR REVENGE: Former All-Star third baseman Mike Schmidt, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, wasn't just playing for fun. He had something to prove.
These guys (Reds) beat us all the time in the mid-70s, Schmidt said. This is my chance to get back at them.
He liked the fact that the current Phillies swept the final three-game series at Cinergy Field.
We're going to make it a clean sweep, he said before the game. I'm playing to win.
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