The Mankato MoonDogs are thrilled to announce Hall-of-Famer Jack Morris as this year’s Opening Day guest. Morris will throw out the first pitch at for the Home Opener presented by Wealth Enhancement on May 29th at 7:05 p.m. at Franklin Rogers Park against the Duluth Huskies.
Morris, a native of St. Paul, MN, played his high school ball at Highland Park High School before attending college and pitching for the BYU Cougars. He was a fifth round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1976, with whom he spent the bulk of his Major League career.
With the Tigers, Morris established himself as one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, posting 175 complete games with 24 shutouts. 1984 was a particularly notable year for Morris. Not only did he make his second All-Star team, he threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox and won his first World Series ring.
After compiling almost 200 wins with the Tigers, Morris came home to Minnesota to play for the Twins in 1991, which would prove to be his most memorable season. Morris was picked as an All-Star for the fifth time in his career, racking up 18 wins for the Twins. A year after finishing in last place in their division, the Twins found themselves in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves. Thanks to some Kirby Puckett heroics, the series needed a seventh game.
Morris, winner of Game 1, got the nod from manager Tom Kelly to face off against Braves pitcher John Smoltz in Game 7. The two future Hall-of-Famers traded scoreless innings, both working their way out of a couple jams. With the game still scoreless after nine innings, Morris took the hill for the tenth, retiring the three Braves hitters he faced for yet another zero on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the tenth, the Twins won the World Series on a Gene Larkin single, for their second championship in five years. Morris was named the MVP of what some have called the greatest World Series of all time.
After his storied 1991 season, Morris became a Toronto Blue Jay, earning two more World Series rings in 1992 and 1993 to bring his total to four. Morris retired from Major League Baseball following his 1994 season with the Cleveland Indians, finishing his career with a 254-186 record and a 3.90 ERA. Over his 18 year career, he made five All-Star teams and racked up 2478 strikeouts.
Morris, now an analyst for the Minnesota Twins, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 and will be inducted on July 29th.
The Home Opener will feature fireworks after the game, presented by Wealth Enhancement. To purchase your tickets, call the MoonDogs office at 507-625-7047 or visit mankatomoondogs.com.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.