Yes, Festival fans, it was worth the wait. Event Organizers have been looking to add one more blockbuster to the lineup at the 2014 Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast. As various candidates have been perused, the question has been asked over and over: “Yes, but are they “Hall of Fame” quality? We want Hall of Fame quality.” Well, with two outs in the bottom of ninth the Bloom hit a walk-off home run; and, Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Lou Ann Thompson, is very proud to announce that Hall of Fame baseball legend, Joe Morgan, will be joining the already stellar lineup at the 2014 Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast.
Joe Morgan is one of six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard (Ollie) Morgan. He moved from Bonham, Texas, to Oakland at the age of 10 in 1954. His principal residence has been in the East Bay Area since that time. Joe was an active participant in sports and social programs at the Brookfield Community Center. He continued his education in the Peralta College District, attending Merritt College from 1961 to 1963, graduating with honors and an AA Degree. He then attended California State University at Hayward. Again, scholastic and athletic honors were accorded him as he completed a Bachelor of Science, Physical Education degree.
Entering the ranks of professional baseball in 1963, Joe signed with the Houston Colt 45’s. He participated with their farm club for approximately two seasons and became a regular player for the renamed Houston Astros in 1964. He was named Sporting News National League Rookie of the Year in 1965, and his exceptionally high performance level continued with the Astros until 1972, when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. This was the spark that helped create the famous “Big Red Machine;” and, Joe played with Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Tony Perez and all the other great Cincinnati stars of that era. Honors bestowed on him during this period are back-to-back “Most Valuable Player” awards in the National League in 1975 and 1976; the “Commissioner’s Award” in 1976 for most votes by the fans for the All-Star Game; and, in 1982, the National League’s “Comeback Player of the Year”. Before ending his career in 1984, Joe had: established a new career home run record for second basemen [and, is currently second on that list]; played in a record 92 consecutive games without an error [by a second baseman]; played in four World Series, winning two championships; played in seven league championship series, and established an All-Star record by playing in seven consecutive games with a hit. In addition, he won five “Gold Glove Awards”, played in ten All-Star games and recorded 692 stolen bases. These honors easily explain his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
From 1989 to 2010, Joe was the #1 baseball analyst for ESPN, winning Emmy Awards for his work in 1998 and 2005. He has received an Honorary Doctorate from Cal State; served on the Board of Directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation; served on the Board of Directors of the Baseball Assistance Team [BAT]; served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and, held many other positions of honor too numerous to mention. Residing in the Bay Area, Joe’s community interest, patience and love for children, family example, and general concerns make him an exceptional individual. He contributes personally to the Oakland Unified School District Sports Program, and is Founder and President of the Joe Morgan Youth Foundation, which provides college scholarships as well as financial support to programs that are instrumental in the development of youth. He is currently serving as a Special Adviser for Cincinnati Reds. PLEASE NOTE: There are less than 100 tickets remaining to the 2014 Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast.