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Reds honor Joe Morgan this weekend

Cincinnati Reds

All the Reds players who made up the Great Eight will be taking part in the dedication ceremonies for the new Joe Morgan statue at Great American Ball Park this weekend. 

Reds Hall of Fame executive director Rick Walls says Morgan was one of the last players to join the famed starting eight on the Big Red Machine of the 1970's.

"Joe was one of the final pieces that came in '72 in the trade with Cesar Geronimo," said Walls.  "So the last two starting members came in, that kind of solidified that group, and when that group of eight played together it was so special."

Besides Morgan and Geronimo, the other Great Eight players are:

  • Johnny Bench
  • Tony Perez
  • Pete Rose
  • Dave Concepcion
  • Ken Griffey, Sr.
  • George Foster

Morgan was instrumental in getting Major League Baseball's approval for Rose, who's banned for life for betting on baseball, to be part of the occasion. 
"Pete and Joe are very, very close," said Walls.  "I don't think it would be the same if they weren't all here."

The statue depicts Morgan stealing base.  It'll join the statues of Ted Kluszewski, Frank Robinson, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Nuxhall and Johnny Bench at the ballpark.  The dedication ceremony will be in Crosley Terrace at 10 Saturday morning. 

Credit Mark Heyne / WVXU News
Ted Kluszewski statue at GABP

The Great Eight will also make an on-field appearance before Friday's post-game fireworks and they'll take part in pre-game ceremonies Saturday.   This marks the first time the eight players have appeared on-field together at Great American Ball Park.