A World Series Embrace Was Only One Stop on a Shared Journey

In 2008, McCann, by then an established star, was behind the plate when Morton made his major league debut. They joined the Astros before last season — McCann coming via a trade with the Yankees, Morton arriving from Philadelphia as a free agent.

For all their shared experiences, they could not be more different.

McCann, who grew up in Duluth, Ga., outside Atlanta, is bearded, bald and burly, and a seven-time All-Star whose biting wit, keen baseball mind and easy confidence have made him a clubhouse leader. Morton, who grew up in Redding, Conn., is towering and lithe, an introspective journeyman whose talent has often exceeded his confidence, which at times has been as fragile as his health. He has undergone surgeries on his elbow, hip (twice) and abdomen to repair a hernia.

But in each of their voices, there is an appreciation for the path the other has taken. They were the only players on that Area Code Games team, which was run by Pittsburgh Pirates scouts, to ascend to the major leagues. And among the 52 players drafted by the Braves in their class, they are among six who reached the majors and the only ones still there.

McCann recalls arriving at the Braves’ minor…

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