Jim Morrison

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James Forrest Morrison

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Jim Morrison played a dozen seasons in the majors, most notably with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Morrison was twice drafted by the Pirates but did not sign. Playing for Georgia Southern College, he appeared in the 1973 College World Series. He was then taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth round of the 1974 amateur draft and began his pro career that summer. He hit .288 with 20 home runs for the Rocky Mount Phillies in 1975 and then posted a .289 average and 18 homers for the Oklahoma City 89ers the following year. After hitting .294 with a dozen home runs for Oklahoma City in 1977, he earned a September call-up to Philadelphia. He made his big league debut on September 18th against the St. Louis Cardinals, playing third base and recording an RBI single off Buddy Schultz in his first at-bat in the majors. Overall, in 5 games for the Phillies that fall, he went 3-for-7.

Morrison split his time between Philadelphia and Oklahoma City in 1978, hitting just .157 in 53 games for the Phillies. He began the following season back with the 89ers and hit .320 with 22 home runs in 79 games there. However, with Mike Schmidt holding down third base and Manny Trillo manning second for Philadelphia, there was no place for him to see regular playing time at the major league level, so in July, he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox.

Morrison saw regular playing time with the White Sox and hit .275 with 14 home runs in 67 games in his first season with the team in 1979. He was the team's regular second baseman in 1980, and he posted a .283 average to go along with 40 doubles and 15 homers. He moved to third base in 1981 but his batting average dipped to .234. He began the 1982 season slowly, hitting just .223 in 51 games for Chicago before being traded to the Pirates for Eddie Solomon in June.

Morrison filled a utility role in his first several seasons in Pittsburgh but became the club's regular third baseman in 1986. He responded by having his finest season, hitting .274 with 23 home runs and 88 RBIs. On June 1st of that season, he had 7 RBIs in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers: he had a double, a triple, and the only grand slam of his career as the Pirates won 12 to 3.

After hitting .264 in 96 games for Pittsburgh in 1987, Morrison was dealt to the Detroit Tigers in August. He hit just .205 in 34 games for Detroit but went 2-for-5 in the 1987 ALCS. He was released by the Tigers the following June but was soon signed by the Atlanta Braves. In 1988, he pitched in 3 games for a very bad Braves team, performing fairly well. In 3 2/3 innings, he gave up 3 hits, 0 runs, walked 2 and struck out 1 (pitcher Craig Lefferts). However, he only hit .152 with the Braves and was given the job of mopping up in blowouts, usually reserved for the the last position player off the bench.

In 1989, Morrison played for the Bradenton Explorers of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He hit .290 with 55 RBIs and a league-leading 17 homers, and played the most games at third base in the league with 72 games. In 1990, he played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the SPBA. He played in 5 games and was batting .650 when the league folded.

Morrison was a hitting coach for the GCL Phillies in 2000 and 2001. He was a roving infield instructor for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002 and was a hitting coach for the Batavia Muckdogs in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006, he managed the GCL Phillies. Morrison joined the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization in 2007 and led the Columbus Catfish to a South Atlantic League championship. He continued to manage in the Tampa Bay Rays chain through 2017. He was slated to manage the Charlotte Stone Crabs in 2018 but had to take medical leave just before the season started. When he returned to baseball later that year, he joined the GCL Rays where he stayed through 2019. Morrison would have returned to the GCL in 2020 if the season had not been cancelled due to COVID-19. He was a coach for the FCL Rays in 2021-2023.

Morrison's son, James Morrison III, played minor league ball from 2004 to 2010.

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
2005 GCL Phillies Gulf Coast League 24-27 6th Philadelphia Phillies
2006 GCL Phillies Gulf Coast League 18-31 12th Philadelphia Phillies
2007 Columbus Catfish South Atlantic League 82-53 2nd Tampa Bay Devil Rays League Champs
2008 Vero Beach Devil Rays Florida State League 54-81 11th Tampa Bay Rays
2009 Charlotte Stone Crabs Florida State League 71-66 3rd Tampa Bay Rays Lost League Finals
2010 Charlotte Stone Crabs Florida State League 80-59 2nd Tampa Bay Rays Lost League Finals
2011 Charlotte Stone Crabs Florida State League 64-75 9th Tampa Bay Rays
2012 Charlotte Stone Crabs Florida State League 55-79 12th Tampa Bay Rays
2013 GCL Rays Gulf Coast League 27-33 11th (t) Tampa Bay Rays
2014 GCL Rays Gulf Coast League 32-28 8th Tampa Bay Rays
2015 GCL Rays Gulf Coast League 16-44 16th Tampa Bay Rays
2016 GCL Rays Gulf Coast League 28-31 9th Tampa Bay Rays
2017 GCL Rays Gulf Coast League 28-32 12th (t) Tampa Bay Rays

Related Sites[edit]