|Yokohama BayStars – No. 27|
July 2, 1980 |
San Francisco, California
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|September 1, 2007 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
(through 2012 season)
|Runs batted in||130|
Morgan also played ice hockey, reaching the Major Junior level with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1999–2000. Following that season, Morgan turned his focus exclusively to baseball and was drafted by the Pirates in the 33rd round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft.
Early life 
Morgan was born on July 2, 1980 in San Francisco. When Morgan was seven years old, he became interested in playing ice hockey after watching the ice hockey tournament at the 1988 Winter Olympics on television. After playing in numerous tournaments across the United States and Canada, Morgan was recruited by the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) when he was sixteen. Although Morgan did not make the Vipers' team after participating in its training camp, he played two games with the team during the 1996–97 season as an affiliate player in which he recorded ten penalty minutes. He spent the remainder of the 1996–97 season with the North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The following season, Morgan played for the Nelson Leafs of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. During the 1998–99 season, Morgan again played for a new team, this time for the Delta Ice Hawks of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League. The following season, Morgan made the transition from the junior "B" Ice Hawks to the major junior Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL). In seven games with the Pats during the 1999–2000 WHL season, Morgan score two goals and recorded twenty penalty minutes. Both of his goals were scored in his first career WHL game, after which he was named the first star of the game. Following his seven games with the Pats, Morgan was released and joined the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL for three games in which he scored one assist and fifteen penalty minutes.
Major league career 
Pittsburgh Pirates 
On September 1, 2007, Morgan made his major league debut for the Pirates against the Milwaukee Brewers as a late-season call-up. On September 14, 2007, Morgan made a catch in Minute Maid Park's center field that proved the difference in a 4–3 Pirates win. Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper said of the catch "That's probably the best catch I've seen this year.". The catch garnered references to Willie Mays' The Catch on SportsCenter the following day. Morgan also showed his tools against the San Diego Padres on September 20, going 2 for 3 with a triple, two runs scored, two stolen bases, and an outfield assist throwing out Scott Hairston. Morgan's first home run came September 25 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Morgan was expected to make the 2008 roster as the Pirates' starting center fielder, but lost the position battle to Nate McLouth during spring training. After a poor start to the season, he was optioned to the Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis Indians. Morgan made several appearances for the Pirates, but spent most of his season in Indianapolis until a productive September call up to the parent club.
Morgan overcame an unimpressive spring training in 2009 to claim the job of starting left fielder. Building on his positive second half of 2008, he proved himself to be a defensively-gifted fan favorite, often referring to left field as "Morgantown".
Although he stole 42 bases in 2009 (second in the league), he was caught 17 times—tied for the most in the majors.
Washington Nationals 
On June 30, 2009, Morgan was traded to the Washington Nationals along with pitcher Sean Burnett in exchange for outfielder Lastings Milledge and pitcher Joel Hanrahan. Morgan fractured his hand sliding into third base on August 27, 2009, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 28. In 2009, he was third in the league in steals (34), and led it in caught stealing (17).
On July 22, 2010, Morgan became the first Nationals player to steal three bases in one game.
Milwaukee Brewers 
On March 27, 2011, Morgan was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Cutter Dykstra (son of baseball player Lenny Dykstra). Morgan fractured his middle finger in the 8th inning on a sacrifice bunt against Jonny Venters. After two separate stints on the disabled list, he joined Carlos Gomez in a platoon in center field with Gomez in the lineup versus left-handed pitchers and Morgan in the lineup versus righties. On June 8 against the New York Mets, Nyjer hit his first walk-off hit with a double down the right field line at Miller Park to win the game 7–6. After the game Morgan was interviewed and was very excited, claiming that he didn't even know it was a walk-off until he saw his teammates running out onto the field. On October 7, Morgan had a series-clinching walk-off base hit in the 10th inning of Game 5 of the NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Brewers won the game 3–2, giving the Brewers their first playoff series win since 1982.
In 2011, he batted .304 and was third in the NL in hit by pitch (14) and sacrifice hits (15).
On January 16, 2012, Morgan signed a one-year, $2.35 million deal during his first run-through of arbitration eligibility.
The Brewers did not tender Morgan a contract for the 2013 season and he refused an assignment to the Brewers' AAA minor league team in Nashville, TN.
In January, 2013 Morgan signed a contract to play for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of the Japanese Central League.
On May 22, 2010, Morgan was involved in arguably one of the most embarrassing moments in Major League history. It began when Baltimore's Adam Jones hit a fly ball to center. Morgan dropped the ball and it caromed away, but he thought he had knocked the ball over the fence for a home run. Instead of going after the ball, Morgan reacted by angrily throwing his glove to the ground and walked away as the ball rolled into left field. Before a teammate was able to retrieve it, Jones had circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Morgan heard a chorus of boos from the crowd as he left the field after the inning.
On August 25, 2010, Morgan was given a seven game suspension for allegedly throwing a ball at a fan during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park; Morgan appealed the suspension and was cleared of wrongdoing.
Just one week later, on September 1, 2010, Morgan was involved in an on-field brawl with Florida Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad. On the previous night Morgan ran into Marlins catcher Brett Hayes, separating Hayes' shoulder. On the following night Morgan was hit by a pitch in the 4th inning. Later that night Volstad threw behind Morgan. Incensed by the pitch, Morgan charged the mound, taking a swing at Volstad before being clotheslined by Marlins first-baseman Gaby Sánchez, leading to a bench clearing fight. MLB gave Morgan an eight-game suspension and an undisclosed fine as a result of his actions. The suspension from the September 1, brawl was upheld and Morgan started serving his eight game suspension on September 17. The league also gave him a $15,000 fine in addition to the eight game suspension. The incident came just days after Morgan ran into St. Louis Cardinals backup catcher Bryan Anderson in spite of the fact that the Cardinals catcher didn't have the ball and had stepped away from the plate.
Morgan was also widely criticized for twice yelling out obscenities on live TV immediately after the Brewers won the National League Division series on October 7, 2011.
Personal life 
Morgan frequently refers to himself as Tony Plush which he states is his "name on the field" or his "gentleman's name." Under his nickname, Morgan will occasionally make a hand signal to look like a "T" after reaching base. In 2011, Nyjer created his own Twitter account, where he publishes wacky pictures such as him dressed as a cowboy. With over 80,000 followers, Morgan often tweets after games using his catchphrase "AAAAAHHHH GOTTA GO!" He is the owner of an adopted cat named "Slick Willie." Morgan also has one daughter, Niah, who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan during his tenure with the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats. Morgan chose to relinquish custody of Niah in order to pursue his athletic career.
On February 1, 2012, Morgan took the opportunity to join an on-ice practice with the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. Of the experience, Morgan proclaimed that it was "dream come true", and he received high praise from All-Star player Joe Thornton who stated that Morgan was "actually a pretty good skater.
During his rookie year for the Pirates, Morgan was forced to dress up as Apollo Creed (a boxer from Rocky movies 1-4) in a hazing ritual.
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- Ladson, Bill (2010-05-22). "Morgan's gaffe gives Jones inside-the-parker". Retrieved October 13, 2011.
- "Nyjer Morgan Suspended Seven Games". ESPN.com. August 25, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Nyjer Morgan Charges Mound, Setting Off Brawl Between Nationals, Marlins". fanhouse.com. September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- "MORGAN GETS EIGHT GAMES, VOLSTAD SIX AFTER NATS/MARLINS BRAWL". tsn.ca. September 3, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
- "Nyjer Morgan stirs up trouble again with hit on Cards catcher". nbcsports.com. August 29, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
- Lacques, Gabe (Oct. 7, 2011). "TBS too late to hush Plush, as Nyjer Morgan drops F-bomb". USA Today. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- "Interview with Rocco DeMaro". 104.7 WPGB-FM Pittsburgh. April 15, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
- "Morgan bringing energy - lots of it - to Brewers". www.jsonline.com. Aug. 23, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Nyjer Morgan|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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