‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Joe Morgan VS Ryne Sandberg
As we wrap up ‘Joe Morgan Day’ here at 30-Year Old Cardboard, I though it would be only proper to include him in tonight’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’.
So tonight, we will put the greatest second baseman from the 1970’s against the greatest second baseman from the 1980’s: Joe Morgan VS Ryne Sandberg!!!
Here is a statistical look at their careers:
|200 Hit Seasons||0||1|
|150-199 Hit Seasons||7||10|
|.400 On-Base Seasons||9||0|
Both guys are extremely accomplished players.
Here are a few standout points for me when comparing them head-to-head:
- Sandberg averaged quite a few more hits a year than Morgan
- Very surprised to see 5 .300 or better seasons out of Sandberg
- Morgan’s On-Base % is stellar!
- Morgan’s walks drawn is unreal
- Morgan’s strikeouts per season is really strong
- Sandberg’s HR’s did not always translate to RBI success
Ultimately, this match-up looks a lot closer on paper than I think it actually is. Joe Morgan epitomized what his team needed from him – a guy that could get on base and disrupt the pitcher’s concentration so Tony Perez and Johnny Bench could generate runs. Sandberg on the other hand, had the tools to do what Morgan did (probably on a bit of a lesser scale), but he also had the power to be the one responsible for the production of runs too. Ultimately, the rosters he played on may not have been the best to showcase what he could do.
One thing that deserves mention – the Silver Slugger Award. The award began in 1980, and Morgan snagged one in the twilight of his career. Had the award started in 1970, I think it is a safe bet that he would have as many as, if not more, than Sandberg and the 7 he owns.
So, who is the better? Who wins the debate tonight?
For me, it is a no-brainer – Joe Morgan all the way!!
Morgan filled his role to perfection for the Reds. His defense was huge, and his ability to get on base and ruin the opposition’s gameplan on a nightly basis was much greater than that of Sandberg. With Sandberg, you may not want to face him with a man in scoring position of a tight game, but with Morgan, you NEVER wanted to face him – period!
Who gets your vote? This one puts the best of one decade versus the best of another decade. And I am eager to hear what you have to say!!