After years of being almost there, after years of waiting, Jack Morris has officially been elected to the baseball Hall of Fame via tonight’s Modern Era Committee vote.
Morris, 62, enjoyed an 18 year career in MLB, posting a 3.90 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, mostly for the Tigers. Of course, as you Twins fans are well aware, the St. Paul native spent one year with the Twins, which included the greatest moment of his career — Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, when he pitched ten shutout innings for his hometown team. The Twins ended up winning, and quite obviously, Morris was named the series’ MVP. It’s largely considered one of the best baseball games of all time.
When Peter Gammons asked Morris if the 1991 World Series had a special place in his heart, Jack responded, “Yes. Those are my neighbors.”
I’m just going to put it bluntly, since we all know it: Jack Morris would not be in the Hall of Fame is he had not pitched that one game. The Twins would not have won the 1991 World Series if Jack Morris had not pitched that one game. If any baseball player, ever, had to pick one game to tip his favor into being a Hall of Famer or not, it would be Jack Morris’s Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
Of course, Morris had a great rest of his career, too. He couldn’t make it to the Hall of Fame just on one game alone! He was a mighty fine pitcher — but if he had not told Tom Kelly he refused to leave the game, if he had not kept pitching when it was bordering on lunacy, he wouldn’t have made it. Period.
Congrats to you, Jack Morris. We love you.
There are many reasons why we love Jack Morris. Game 7... Game 1, or Game 4, I guess. But also Game 7.
Personally, beyond Game 7, one of the biggest memories I have of Jack Morris was from the news conference the Twins held in 2011 after the death if Harmon Killebrew. Hometown hero Kent Herbk spoke, followed by Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and finally Jack Morris.
Morris just broke down like a baby in front of everyone talking about his childhood hero.
It just makes me want to hug Jack and tell him, “Yes, some day you too will be like Harmon Killebrew.”