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Jack Morris


Jack Morris photo

Jack Morris pitches in 1989 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit.

Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Updated November 28, 2012

Vital Statistics:

Born: May 16, 1955

Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.

Height: 6-3

Weight: 195 pounds

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Primary position: Starting pitcher

Before the bigs:

  • Highly recruited as a baseball and basketball player out of Highland Park High School in St. Paul. He attended Brigham Young University and pitched two seasons for the Cougars, going 6-3 with a 5.08 ERA in 1975 and 4-6 with a 4.72 ERA in 1976.
  • Drafted in the fifth round by the Detroit Tigers in 1976 at age 21, he's sent to Double-A Montgomery, where he went 2-3 with a 6.25 ERA in 12 games.
  • Starts the 1977 season in Triple-A with Evansville (Ind.). He went 6-7 with a 3.60 ERA and was called up to the parent Tigers in July for six starts.

Career Highlights:

  • Widely considered the best and most consistently good pitcher of the 1980s, starting the most games, pitching the most innings and getting 162 wins, the most of any pitcher. (He also gave up the most hits, earned runs and home runs.) But perhaps because he was not very friendly with the baseball writers, he never won a Cy Young Award or an MVP award.
  • Played on three World Series champions -- the 1984 Detroit Tigers, the 1991 Minnesota Twins and the 1992 and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Made 14 consecutive opening-day starts from 1980 to 1993, a major league record. He did it for three different teams.
  • One of the most successful pitchers of the split-finger fastball, he was a five-time American League All-Star, in 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1991.
  • Threw the first of his 175 career complete games on Aug. 10, 1977, a 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
  • Joined the Tigers' rotation fill-time in 1979 and went 17-7 with a 3.29 ERA. Throws his first career shutout on Sept. 19 against the eventual pennant-winning Baltimore Orioles.
  • Threw a one-hitter against the Twins on Aug. 21, 1980, giving up a first-inning season to Rob Wilfong.
  • At age 26, he led the American League in wins in the strike-shortened 1981 season with 14. Finished third in the Cy Young voting Rollie Fingers and Steve McCatty.
  • Won 20 games for the first time in 1983, going 20-13 with a 3.34 ERA in 37 starts and 293 2/3 innings and led the AL in strikeouts with 232. Threw a career-high 20 complete games and finished third in Cy Young voting again, behind behind LaMarr Hoyt and Dan Quisenberry.
  • Threw a no-hitter on NBC's "Game of the Week" on April 7, 1984 against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. He won 19 games and helped lead the Tigers to their first championship in 16 years, getting two complete-game victories in the World Series against the San Diego Padres.
  • Won a career-best 21 games in 1986 and had a 3.27 ERA, leading the AL with six shutouts. But he finished fifth in Cy Young voting behind Roger Clemens, Teddy Higuera, Mike Witt and Dave Righetti.
  • A free agent after the 1986 seasons, he found no clubs interested in signing him, and his case became a major part of the collusion case against the owners, which the players would win. Was awarded a $1.85 million salary for 1987 with the Tigers, a record at the time.
  • Went 18-11 in 1987 with a 3.38 ERA and finished ninth in Cy Young voting, leading the Tigers to the AL East title.
  • Agreed to a three-year deal with the Tigers before the 1988 season, and won 15 games in 1988 before slumping to 6-14 in 1989. After a 15-18 season in 1990, he became a free agent.
  • Signed a one-year contract worth $3.7 million with his hometown Minnesota Twins and had a renaissance season, going 18-12 with a 3.43 ERA and leading the Twins to a worst-to-first season.
  • Had one of the greatest pitching performances in World Series history, starting Game 7 of the World Series and shutting out the Atlanta Braves for 10 innings before a 10th-inning single by Gene Larkin scored Dan Gladden for a 1-0 victory. Morris was named World Series MVP after going 4-0 in the postseason.
  • A free agent again, he signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and continued pitching well, getting the first 20-win season in Toronto history, going 21-6 with a 4.04 ERA for the 1992 Blue Jays, who gave Morris his third World Series ring. He went 0-2 in the World Series, however, losing both starts to the Braves.
  • Returned to the Blue Jays in 1993, but was 7-12 with a 6.19 ERA. Didn't pitch in the postseason, but the Blue Jays repeated in as World Series champion.
  • Signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1994 and went 10-6 before leaving the team in August of the strike-shortened season, and he never pitched in the majors again.
  • Finished his career with a 254-186 record with a 3.90 ERA and 2.478 strikeouts and 1,390 walks in 3,824 innings.

After retirement:

  • At age 41, he made 10 starts for the St. Paul Saints of the Independent Northern League in 1996, going 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
  • Has been a part-time coach for the Detroit Tigers and is an avid outdoorsman.
  • Continues to receive added support in Hall of Fame balloting, and received 67 percent of the vote of the writers in 2012 (75 percent is needed for enshrinement). His term on the ballot ends in 2014.
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