Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, April 23, 2010

1976 Topps #418 - Jose Morales

  • Jose Morales played parts of 12 seasons with five teams from 1973-1984. He was especially valuable as a pinch hitter. Morales was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1963. He played in the Giants’ system for five years and then was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the minor league draft. Jose played in the A’s system for five more years and finally got his chance in the majors in August 1973. Part of his problem was that he wasn’t much of a defensive catcher. Jose led four different minor leagues in errors. Morales played in 6 games (.286 in 14 at bats) and was sold to the Montreal Expos on September 18. Jose was 2 for 5 in five games with the Expos in 1973.

  • In 1974 Morales started the season in AAA and was called up in July. He batted .269 in 26 at bats for the Expos in ’74. Jose batted .301 in 163 at bats as a pinch hitter and backup catcher / first baseman in 1975.

  • Morales batted a career-high .316 in 158 at bats in 1976. He had a big drop-off in 1977, batting .203 in 74 at bats. Morales was purchased by the Minnesota Twins during spring training in 1978. Jose came back in 1978 and batted .314 in 242 at bats as a DH and utility player.

  • In the next two seasons Jose was a DH, first baseman, and occasional catcher for the Twins. He batted .267 in 191 at bats in 1979 and .303 in 241 at bats in 1980. After the 1980 season Morales became a free agent and signed with the Baltimore Orioles.

  • Jose didn’t get much playing time in 1981 and batted .244 in 86 at bats. He started the 1982 season with the Orioles (.000 in 3 at bats) and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Leo Hernandez on April 28. Morales batted .300 in 30 at bats for the Dodgers in 1982. He batted .283 in 53 at bats in 1983 (mostly as a pinch hitter). Morales went 0 for 2 in the 1983 NLCS. In 1984 Jose batted .158 in 19 at bats. The Dodgers released him on June 7. Morales signed with the Expos two weeks later and played for AAA Indianapolis but retired after batting .188 in 80 at bats.

  • After his playing career Jose worked as a batting instructor in the Baltimore, Cleveland, and Florida organizations.

  • Liked to face: Larry Gura (.591 in 22 AB); Dave LaRoche (.529 in 17 AB); Ron Guidry (.375 in 24 AB)

  • Hated to face: Ron Reed (.100 in 10 AB); Rudy May (.143 in 14 AB); Andy Hassler (.111 in 9 AB)

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