MINNEAPOLIS -- Jack Morris is beloved by Twins and Tigers fans alike for his postseason heroics and penchant for delivering in the biggest of moments.
On Saturday, with both teams at Target Field, the Twins honored Morris with Jack Morris Hall of Fame night. Minnesota celebrated Morris's career with a special pregame ceremony and played his Hall of Fame speech before turning the mic over to Morris for another speech.
"I talked to Jack the other day," said Twins manager Paul Molitor, who played with Morris on the Blue Jays in 1993. "It's been a whirlwind, in a good way. I think he's kinda done with it being about him for a while. But this is a good thing, the Twins honoring him tonight. It's been something to watch: his journey, his career, having to wait this long, and now to share this tonight with Twins fans and the organization."
With 330 kids from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area gathered on the edge of the infield, the Twins played a video honoring Morris, Molitor and Dave Winfield, who all grew up in St. Paul and now hold a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Morris, who was named World Series MVP during the Twins' 1991 championship season when he outdueled John Smoltz in a historic Game 7 performance, was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 29. His No. 47 jersey was retired by the Tigers last week in Detroit.
"I've had so many great, great memories of baseball," Morris said during his pregame speech, "but I'll never forget being able to come home and put on a Twins uniform."
Morris went 18-12 with a 3.43 ERA in his lone season with the Twins and posted a 2-0 record and 1.17 ERA in three World Series starts against Atlanta. The four-time World Series champ pitched 18 seasons between Detroit, Minnesota, Toronto and Cleveland, going 254-186 with a 3.90 ERA and 2,478 strikeouts in 3,824 innings. Morris also threw 175 complete games.
Morris and Molitor played high school ball in the St. Paul area, and went head-to-head while growing up.
"I'm not one who has the greatest detail on those things," Molitor said. "We go back a long way. You knew you were facing Jack Morris in high school or Legion ball. He had a name in the city. He took that little hiatus to Brigham Young and became a big leaguer. He was one of the best pitchers of his generation."