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Old 08-26-2006, 01:11 AM   #497
JCMElway
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Jack Morris, P, Tigers/Twins/Blue Jays

* All-Star (AL): 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991
* World Series champion: 1984, 1991, 1992, 1993
* World Series MVP: 1991
* Babe Ruth Award: 1984, 1991

John Scott "Jack" Morris (born May 16, 1955 in St. Paul, Minnesota) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher. He played in 18 big league seasons between 1977 and 1994, mainly for the Detroit Tigers, and won 254 games throughout his career.

Morris attended Brigham Young University and was drafted by the Tigers in the fifth round of the 1976 draft. He broke into the Tigers' pitching rotation in 1979, posting a 17-7 record and a 3.29 ERA and establishing himself as the ace of the Detroit staff. Morris, along with shortstop Alan Trammell, second baseman Lou Whitaker, and manager Sparky Anderson, played a notable role in turning the Tigers into a contending team for most of the 1980s.

On April 7, 1984, Morris hurled a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox, beginning what would be an excellent season for him. At the end of the 1984 campaign, he notched 19 wins and a 3.60 ERA, leading Detroit into the postseason. He scored a win over the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, and added two more in the World Series against the San Diego Padres as the Tigers stormed to the World Championship.

In 1986, Morris racked up 21 wins, but was overshadowed by eventual Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and his achievements with the Boston Red Sox. 1987 would again see the Tigers head to the postseason, but this time Morris' performance was below expectations as Detroit lost the ALCS to the eventual World Champion Minnesota Twins. Despite this loss, he would finish the 1980s as the winningest pitcher of the decade, with 162 wins.

In 1991, Morris signed a one-year contract with his hometown Minnesota Twins. He enjoyed another great season, posting 18 wins as Minnesota faced the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Morris started for the Twins three times, with his final outing being Game 7. In a postseason performance for the ages, the 36-year-old hurler threw 10 innings of shutout baseball against the Braves as the Twins won the World title on a 10th inning single by Gene Larkin that scored Dan Gladden. Morris was named the World Series MVP for his fantastic performance.

Following the 1991 season, Morris signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He earned 21 wins for the second time in his career as the Blue Jays reached the 1992 World Series against the Braves. Despite his performance being subpar, he did win a third championship ring, as Toronto beat Atlanta in six games. He would win a fourth in 1993, as the Blue Jays repeated as World Champions, this time with a six-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Armed with a fastball, slider, and devastating split-finger pitch, Morris was a five-time All-Star (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1991). However, his fiery competitive nature routinely got him into trouble with the media. He sometimes even refused to talk to reporters, and once infamously gave a would-be female scribe an explanation by telling her, "I don't talk to women unless they're on top of me or I'm on top of them."

Morris was in the Top 10 of the voting for the Cy Young Award on many occasions, despite never actually winning the award. He is currently making a bid for entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame, although his career ERA of 3.90 is very high for a Hall of Fame candidate.
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