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Midwest League Profile

Russ Morman: Journeyman

Russ Morman was a first round pick in the 1983 free agent draft, picked 28th overall by the ChiSox out of Wichita State. He signed a few days after the draft, and the Sox assigned their new prospect to Double-A ball, at Glens Falls in the Eastern League. Russ played passable, but unexciting, ball.

The White Sox concluded he needed some polish, and assigned him to our league for his second season. His 1984 line, at Appleton:

    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  122  424  68  111  17  7  7    80  80  93  29 .262 .386 .384

While that's not a star's line, it's a productive season; he was back at Glens Falls in 1985. Russ' 1985 line, in a tougher league, was dramatically better:


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    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  119  422  64  131  24  5  17   81  65  51  11 .310 .406 .512

This earned him a slot on the Eastern League's post-season All-Star team. By season's end, the Sox had Russ playing in Buffalo. This was the start of a long career in Triple-A ball:

  • 1986 Buffalo (Chi-A)
  • 1987 Hawaii (Chi-A)
  • 1988-89 Vancouver (Chi-A)
  • 1990-91 Omaha (KC)
  • 1992 Nashville (Cin)
  • 1993 Buffalo (Pit)
  • 1994 Edmonton (Fla)
  • 1995-97 Charlotte (Fla) [97: IL All-Star at DH]
  • 1998 Durham (TB)
  • 1999 Calgary (Fla)

The best season? Perhaps 1993, at Buffalo:

    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  119  409  79  131  34  2  22   77  48  59   0 .320 .390 .575

1994, 1996, and 1997 were pretty comparable to this; Russ hit .350 in '94 and had 33 Triple-A homers in '97.

Morman's minor league career--17 seasons in a single line:

    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
 1561 5498 880 1632 304 43 207 1029 713 973 116 .297 .379 .481

A fine, fine career in the bushes. Baseball America anointed him the third-best journeyman minor leaguer of the 90s.


Most seasons, he'd play a few weeks in the big leagues; in all, Russ had 207 major league games and 470 at bats; he hit 10 big league homers and batted .249 over 9 seasons (those split over 12 summers). Then they'd send him down, and he'd star at Charlotte, or Vancouver, or Omaha....


Russ began a new career in 2000, managing Kane County for two seasons. So far it's worked very well.


Russ's managerial record is available on this site.

This profile originated as the February 20, 2000, Midwest League Tidbit on the Midwest League Mailing List.

Cepeda
Fisk
Hill
Marichal
Martinez
McCord
Meyer
Molitor
Morman
Mull
Repulski
Ripken
Rodriguez
Simmons
Sprout
Torchia
Tracy
Wilson
Wolff
Wren
Zapp


The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

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