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Monday, January 18, 2021

Kevin Morton used bigs as learning experience over 16 games

Kevin Morton 1990 New Britain Red Sox card

In his third month in the bigs in 1991, Kevin Morton had learned a few things, he told his hometown Norwalk Hour.

And he learned them in the majors.

"It's just a learning experience," Morton told The Hour. "You pick up an abundance of information and the key is to use it to your advantage. Hey, I just turned 23, I'm still learning."

For Morton, he would only get a few more chances to do that learning in the majors. He would play four more seasons as a pro, but he never returned to the bigs.

Morton's pro career began in 1989, taken by the Red Sox in the first round of the draft, out of Seton Hall University.

At Seton Hall, Morton earned that first-round status by going 10-2 in 1988 and 11-2 in 1989. He also won Big East Pitcher of the Year honors in 1989.

With the Red Sox, Morton played his first season between the Gulf Coast League, short-season and single-A Lynchburg. Between them, he went 6-6, with a 2.08 ERA.

At Lynchburg, Morton's manager praised Morton's skills.

"He mixes in an occasional changeup and you can just see what kind of competitor he is on the mound," Lynchburg manager Gary Allenson told The Hour that August.

For 1990, Morton moved to AA New Britain, going 8-14. He then made AAA Pawtucket for 1991, then, that July, he made Boston.

Morton debuted July 5 and went on to get into 16 games, 15 of them starts. He ended with a 6-5 record, and a 4.59 ERA.

In August, the left-hander Morton beat Kansas City in Boston by going into the eighth inning, giving up a single run.

''The idea that a left-hander can't pitch in Fenway Park is a fallacy,'' Morton told the Associated Press afterward. ''John Tudor, Bruce Hurst and others have proven that a left-hander can win here. And, hopefully, I'll be around a long time to win my share.'' 

Morton returned to Pawtucket for 1992 and his numbers dropped. Morten went just 2-12, with a 5.45 ERA. He then moved to the Royals system in 1993, Mets for 1994 and finally the Cubs in 1995. 

After a season in Taiwan and a start in Mexico in 1997, Morton's career ended without him returning to the majors.
Originally published Jan. 7, 2014
Kevin Morton 1990 New Britain Red Sox card

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