The shortened Major League Baseball season has come to an end and as the expanded playoffs begin, the Kansas City Royals have returned to their homes to begin the offseason and prepare for the 2021-2022 season. One player, however, who will not be preparing for next season, or in the way that he has in the past, is left fielder Alex Gordon.
Gordon announced his retirement shortly before the last series of the season against the Detroit Tigers. We all knew that Gordon would retire sooner than later, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for it.
The Royals drafted Gordon with the 2nd pick in the 2005 Major League Draft after he had a stellar junior season at the University of Nebraska. In his last season for the Cornhuskers, he won the Dick Howser Trophy, Golden Spikes Award, the Brooks Wallace Award, and the American Baseball Coaches Association Rawlings Player of the Year Award. After playing Wichita for the Double-A Wranglers, Gordon was promoted to the big league club and debuted in 2007.
He hit a rough patch, being sent down to Triple-A Omaha in 2009. In 2010, he was demoted to Omaha again in May. It was then that he made the switch to the outfield where he flourished. He was promoted to Kansas City in July of 2010 and he has never looked back, becoming a staple of the Royals organization.
During his time with the Royals, Gordon won seven Gold Glove Awards, four Fielding Bible Awards, and a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, all after moving to the outfield. His most successful offensive season was in 2011 when he hit .303 with 23 home runs and 87 RBI’s, all career bests.
He has a career .257 batting average, 190 home runs, 749 RBI’s and 1643 hits. Gordon will be remembered for his play in the outfield. Time after time, making highlight reel catches that proved just how athletic he is.
Gordon was instrumental for the Royals during their 2014 and 2015 World Series runs, becoming a World Champion in 2015. His leadership on and off the field epitomized the Royals during that time. It’s been said that you’re not going to outwork Gordon and that was proven when several former and current Royals players sent him congratulations after he announced his retirement. The love and respect that came pouring in from his peers was truly a joy to see and it’s a testament to the kind of player, leader and man that he is.
He said that the quarantine this year gave him a view of what retired life would look like and he enjoyed it. Asked what the first thing he was going to do after his last game, he said that he was going to eat a pizza.
Gordon is right up there with George Brett as far as players that are important to the Royals organization. I wish him the best and I hope we see him in another capacity for the Royals in the future!
– Rob Mooney, Metro Voice sports writer