A's, Farm Clubs Assist Morris With Recovery

The Oakland A's received bad health news on a number of their minor league players this season. But no news was more devastating than the news that catcher Jed Morris had been stricken with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Since Morris was diagnosed on August 15, the Midland Rockhounds, Stockton Ports and Modesto Nuts have been teaming up with the A's to raise money on Morris' behalf.

Oakland A's farmhand Jed Morris is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. To help defray the costs of his medical treatments, the "Jed Morris Victory Fund" was established by his family to raise money for his treatment. In late August, the three clubs that Morris has played for over the past four years -- the Midland Rockhounds, Stockton Ports and Modesto Nuts -- all announced that they would be hosting events to raise money for the Victory Fund. The Oakland A's Community Fund pledged to match the donations made at those events, up to $10,000.

Morris' current club, the Midland Rockhounds, held a live and silent auction during their August 26th contest versus Corpus Christi. The Rockhounds also partnered with the Midland West Rotary Club and the National Marrow Donor Program in a bone marrow registration drive during the RockHounds games versus the Frisco Roughriders on September 1 and September 2.

The Rockhounds have currently raised $17,349 for the Victory Fund and are hoping to raise even more through an eBay auction of a Nolan Ryan/Pete Rose autographed photo. (Fans interested in bidding on the item can click here).

Morris' former minor league clubs, the Stockton Ports and the Modesto Nuts (the A's High-A affiliate until 2005), teamed together to raise money for the Victory Fund, as well. The two California League affiliates held silent auctions at home games in August. Together they raised nearly $10,000 for the Victory Fund.

In addition, the Oakland A's Community Fund made a $10,000 matching donation.

Fans who didn't have a chance to participate in these events can send donations to the Jed Morris Victory Fund c/o Douglas National Bank, 211 East Ward Street, Douglas, GA 31533. (Fans should note the number 1123769 on the check.) Fans can also go to the Midland Rockhounds' website or contact the Rockhounds directly for more information on Morris and donation efforts.

Fans interesting in making a donation to the Jed Morris Victory Fund should mail checks to Douglas National Bank, 211 East Ward Street, Douglas, GA 31533. Please note account number 1123769 on the check.

Morris was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 36th round of the 2002 draft after a standout career at the University of Nebraska, where Morris was the 2002 Big 12 Player of the Year. He began his professional career in Vancouver and then spent the next two seasons at High-A with the Modesto A's. In 2004, he helped the A's win the California League championship.

In 2005, Morris spent the majority of the year with the A's new High-A affiliate, the Stockton Ports. He had a breakthrough season at the plate, posting a 939 OPS for the Ports. He also played a handful of games at AA and AAA. During his time in Stockton, Morris teamed with fellow Ports Eddie Cornejo and Ben Winslow to create the movie "Dream Revolver" which was about a minor league ballplayer rediscovering his love for the game.

His breakthrough 2005 campaign earned Morris a promotion to AA in 2006, where he teamed with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate for the second straight year. In addition to catching, Morris was asked to fill-in in the outfield for the Rockhounds, who were devastated by injuries to their outfielders throughout the season. Although Morris didn't have a lot of experience in the outfield, he played errorless baseball in the outfield and had four assists in only 21 games.

Offensively, Morris was in the midst of another outstanding season when he broke his hand on June 1 after a collision with teammate Matt Allegra. He returned to the Rockhounds' line-up on August 2 and was the team's everyday catcher while Suzuki was competing for Team USA in the Olympic qualifying tournament. However, he began to have persistent nosebleeds and noticeable fatigue after his return from the disabled list. While on a road-trip to Springfield, MO, Morris had his blood checked and was diagnosed with the leukemia.

Morris told the Modesto Bee on August 25 that the outlook for his recovery is good and that he hopes to be back on the field soon. He finished the 2006 campaign with a career-best .306 batting average and had improved his defense behind the plate notably.

OaklandClubhouse.com wishes Morris a complete and speedy recovery.

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