Warren Morris

  • Born: Jan. 11, 1974 in Alexandria, La.
  • Bats: Left Throws: Right
  • Height: 5′ 11″ Weight: 190 lb.
  • Acquired: Signed as a free agent by the Tigers Dec. 19, 2002.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 1 (97 games in 2003)
  • Uniform Number: 24
  • Stats: .272 avg., 6 home runs, 37 RBI, .689 OPS

If you keep trying to remove the memory of 2003 only to be reminded by, well, us, we’re about to hurt your effort a bit further. Today we’re looking back on infielder Warren Morris.

He played second base for the ’03 Tigers, hitting .272 in 97 games for that record-setting club. Four seasons earlier Morris finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year Award, hitting .288 with 15 homers, 73 RBI and a .787 OPS for the Pirates.

Three seasons before that, in 1996, Morris hit a ninth-inning College World Series Championship-winning home run against Miami. From Wikipedia:

LSU reached the championship game of the College World Series in 1996, and was trailing Miami 8–7 in the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Morris came up to the plate with one runner on base, and hit Miami relief pitcher Robbie Morrison’s first pitch just inches over the right field fence. The walk-off home run won the game for the Tigers 9–8. It was his only home run of the season, and is the only walk-off championship-winning home run in College World Series history.

(Watch it here.)

After being drafted by the Rangers in the fifth round of the ’96 draft, two years later — while still in the minors — he was traded to the Pirates. He played parts of three seasons in Pittsburgh before being released in Spring Training 2002.

Then he had a sip of coffee with the Twins — no hits in four games — before arriving in Detroit for the abysmal 2003 season. With the Tigers’ stunning Spring Training contract-eating of Damion Easley, Morris became Alan Trammell’s starting second baseman.

You’ll have to dig deep to find a remarkable moment from his time with the Tigers but here’s one that might qualify — in relative terms, mind you. After all, we are talking about the ’03 Tigers.

On June 21, with the Tigers trailing the Rockies 9-3 with two out in the ninth at Coors Field, Morris hit a three-run homer off Jose Jimenez that allowed Detroit to lose by only three runs. (In a sign of things to come, the next batter, Craig Monroe, fanned to end the game.)

Morris re-signed with the Tigers for the 2004 season but didn’t see any action with the big club. He signed with the Indians and Brewers organizations in ’05 but after his final game with the Tigers on Sept. 28, 2003, Morris never appeared in another major-league game.

Still, he has to be proud of that clinching homer in the College World Series, right?

By the way, Happy 37th Birthday, Warren.