Baseball fans are remembering Cincinnati Reds legend Joe Morgan, who died at the age of 77 on Sunday. And one of Morgan's great teammates, Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, paid tribute to him on social media. Bench went to Twitter to react to the death of Morgan by posting a photo of him while tagging Major League Baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame. In the caption, Bench wrote that Morgan is "simply the best."
Bench and Morgan were Reds teammates from 1972-1979. Both were key members of the Reds' "Big Red Machine" squad as the team won World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. Bench and Morgan both were multiple winners of the MVP award. Bench won his MVPs in 1970 and 1972 while Morgan claimed his awards in 1975 and 1976. Bench was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 while Morgan was inducted in 1990.
"Joe wasn’t just the best second baseman in baseball history, he was the best player I ever saw and one of the best people I've ever known," Bench said in a statement to the Baseball Hall of Fame. "He was a dedicated father and husband and a day won’t go by that I won’t think about his wisdom and friendship. He left the world a better, fairer, and more equal place than he found it, and inspired millions along the way."
Along with winning two World Series and two MVP awards, Morgan was a 10-time All-Star, a five-time Gold Glove winner and a Silver Slugger winner in 1982. He started his career with the Houston Colt .45s/Astros and also played for the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland Athletics.
"The Reds family is heartbroken. Joe was a giant in the game and was adored by the fans in this city," Reds CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement following Morgan's death. "He had a lifelong loyalty and dedication to this organization that extended to our current team and front office staff. As a cornerstone on one of the greatest teams in baseball history, his contributions to this franchise will live forever. Our hearts ache for his Big Red Machine teammates."