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Tom Mix, Published January 27 2014

'It is what it is': Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris moving on after not making Hall of Fame


Earlier this month, former Major League Baseball pitcher Jack Morris was hopeful his upcoming summer would include a trip to Cooperstown, N.Y.

The five-time All-Star was appearing on his 15th and final writer’s ballot for election into the Hall of Fame, but on Jan. 8 Morris learned that he did not receive the required 75 percent of the writer’s vote to earn induction.

Morris, who was in Fargo on Monday giving the keynote address at the Red River Diamond Classic baseball banquet, garnered 61.5 percent of the vote on his final try.

A few weeks have passed and Morris has moved on.

“It is what it is,” Morris said of the Hall of Fame. “That is my reaction. I am grateful, and quite honestly honored, by the fact that the majority of writers were in my corner. Sometimes I think that is forgotten.

“I got two-thirds of the vote, and that is pretty cool,” Morris added. “I would have won every presidential candidacy in the last 100 years, but it is not so in baseball. I’m proud of what I did. I don’t think it defines my career in any shape or form.”

Not receiving a HOF plaque does not change the fact that Morris, 58, won World Series Championships four times – Detroit (1984), Minnesota (1991) and Toronto (1992-93).

Morris, who compiled a 254-186 record, never won a Cy Young award in his 18-year career, but is considered by many to be one of the best postseason pitchers in history.

His 10-inning, complete-game shutout victory in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series with the Twins cemented his spot in Upper Midwest baseball folklore.

That notoriety would serve him well is his post-baseball career of broadcasting.

Since his playing days ended in 1994, Morris has provided commentary for radio and television broadcasts with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays.

Last week, Morris was added as an analyst to both the Fox Sports North television and 96.3-FM K-TWIN radio broadcast teams. Both media groups cover the Minnesota Twins and are based in the Twin Cities.

“It is always nice to be around familiar people you know and understand,” Morris said. “I get a chance to work with so many people I know; guys in uniform, front-office people, and of course, several members of the broadcast group both on the radio side and TV side. It is going to be fun for me to be home again.”

Morris was a member of the Twins’ radio broadcast team from 2005-2011. In addition to being a regular on-air contributor for K-TWIN, Morris is slated to co-host the “Ron Gardenhire Show” airing from 9:30-10 a.m. on Sundays as well as “This is Twins Territory” airing 10-11 a.m. on Sundays.

The Twins have finished the last three seasons with losing records and Morris said he will “try to paint a picture of reality” in his broadcast work this summer.

“I have always been a Twins fan,” Morris said. “It has been hard these last few years. Knowing what I know, and being able to be part of world champion team to watch the Twins in their struggling years has been a tough thing. I also know there is no quick, easy fix. Obviously I’m pulling for them to turn it around.”

Pitching has been the most addressed area for the Twins this offseason. The team made substantial financial commitments to free-agent pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes.

Like Nolasco and Hughes, Morris was a marquee free-agent signing for the Twins in 1991 and the former ace said both pitchers have to try to relax and trust their stuff.

“The name of this game is getting ahead by throwing Strike 1,” Morris said. “Those guys know that, and have heard it a million times, but sometimes it is the simple things you must do all the time in order to have success.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562