This Jim Morrison appears here on his 5th Topps card, but for the second card in a row, Topps uses a posed picture.
Is that Shea Stadium in the background?
Player: Jim Morrison came up through the Phillies chain in the late 70's. The former fifth round pick did well in the minors, but Morrison was blocked by Mike Schmidt at third base. Morrsion had three hits in a seven at bat audition in '77. He was called up late in April of '78 and received some playing time at second base. He got off to a decent start but cooled quickly, at one point going three weeks between hits. He was up and down with the Phils but never got on track batting .157 in 123 plate appearances.
Morrison found himself stuck at AAA Oklahoma City for a fourth year in 1979. He was tearing it up when he was mercifully traded to the White Sox mid-season. Splitting time between second and third base, Morrison was able to play nearly every day for the White Sox and knocked 14 HR with a .275/.324/.508 stat line in 67 games.
Morrison played in all 162 games for the Chicago in 1980. He batted .283 with 40 doubles and 15 HR and was an adequate defender at second base. In ’81 he moved across the diamond to third base but due to injuries and the strike, he was limited to 90 games. His production lagged as he posted a .234/.261/.372 line.
Returning as the White Sox third baseman in ’82, Morrison didn’t do much at the plate (.223 BA) and was traded to the Pirates in June. Pittsburgh used him in a reserve role and he hit .276 wearing Black and Gold. Morrison filled a utility role in ’83 and played sparingly to start the year. Batting just 174 times he posted a .304/.347/.487 line. His playing time nearly doubled in ’84 and he posted similar rate stats with 11 home runs. He slipped to .254 with just four homers in ’85 and at 32 years of age his career seemed to heading downhill.
Morrison was the Bucs starter at the hot corner in ’86 and although the team lost 98 games, he had a career year setting personal bests with 23 HR, 88 RBI, and 3.1 wins above replacement. He was hitting .264 with nine home runs when he was dealt to the Tigers in August of ’87 for fellow third sacker Darnell Coles and a PTBNL. In the thick of the tight AL East race, the Tigers deployed Morrison at six different positions as well as DH. He hit only .205 in 122 plate appearances in Motown but made the playoff roster as the Tigers faced the Twins in the ALCS. In his first playoff action since striking out in his lone at bat as a Phillie in the ’78 NLCS, Morrison had two hits in five at bats.
Tigers manager Sparky Anderson continued to use Morrison all over the field in ’87 but the Tigers gave him his walking papers in June after producing a .216/.216/284 line in 74 trips to the plate. The Braves picked him up and he hit even worse, .152/.229.239. He did add a new position to his resume, pitching three times and providing 3.2 innings of scoreless relief in blowouts.
The 37 year-old Morrison played in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in ’89 and ‘90 but after the league folded his playing days were over. In 12 major league seasons, Morrison hit .260/.305/.419 with 112 HR and an OPS+ of 98.
Flipside: Although Morrison played in all 162 games in ’80 he only topped 130 games one more time in his career with 154 in ’86.
Oddball: Morrison led the Senior Pro Baseball Association with 17 HR in ‘89. He was batting .650 in five games when the league folded in 1990.
History: Morrison had a decent career although he never few solid years but nothing really memorable about him other than having the same name as a rock legend.
Morrison currently manages in the Rays chain.