There to interact with fans and help publicize his new Honda dealership in Monroe, Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan visited the Sports Gallery in West Chester Thursday night for an autograph session.
While at the event, the senior advisor of the Cincinnati Reds talked about the current team. A group that has won 14 of their last 17 games without its star first baseman Joey Votto, who has been out of the lineup since July 15 after he had surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee.
“I think everyone is surprised, at least I am, at the fact they have played so well without Joey Votto, who is one of the best players in the game,” Morgan said. “When it happened, I thought we were going to have problems, but they have been able to pick that up.
“I think that goes back to Dusty Baker and his coaching staff. They have done a fabulous job. Anybody who knows the game figured the Reds would go down a little bit, but instead Dusty and the coaching staff have pushed them up.”
Despite their success, Morgan refused to compare the 2012 Reds to his Reds team, which won World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.
“You can’t compare this team to my team … there are a lot of good players on this team, but they are not the same as the ’75 and ’76 team,” Morgan said. “I don’t think you are ever going to have a team like that again because it wasn’t just about ability. It was about how smart they were.
“Our guys were really smart, they knew how to play, they didn’t make mental mistakes or mistakes on the bases. They were just a far superior team intellectually than any other team I have been around.”
Some of Morgan’s teammates are scheduled to be at the Sports Gallery soon for additional autograph sessions. This upcoming Tuesday, Dave Concepcion and George Foster will take part in a joint autograph session that will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. And then, on Sept. 20, MLB Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench will at the West Chester sports memorabilia shop from 6 to 8 p.m.
Tickets (one autograph per ticket) for Concepcion and Foster range from $30 to $45 each, or are $65 for both autographs together. Meanwhile, tickets for Bench range from $85 to $100 each.
For information about mail order items or to buy tickets, which are limited, call 513-759-4256.