It was announced Thursday that after a 14 year career with the Kansas City Royals, Alex Gordon will be retiring from baseball upon the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Gordon will retire as one of the most central figures of Royals history. He is the name that began to usher in a new era of Royals baseball, being hailed as a vital centerpiece of the team for years to come when he was drafted in 2005. That he was, never signing a contract with another organization and playing all 1,749 games of his Major League career in a Royals uniform. Most importantly, Gordon was one of the team’s best players as they developed into a contending team and made an improbable World Series run in 2014, and provided some of the greatest plays of the era as he helped the team to its 2015 World Series title. No Royals fan will soon forget his home run off of Jeurys Familia in game one of that World Series to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth:
While that was certainly among his most crucial contributions, Gordon has provided so many more memorable and important plays:
His reaching catch in the clinching game 4 of the 2014 ALCS:
His catch running straight into the stands against the White Sox in 2015:
And, of course, his triple that brought the Royals a base away from tying game 7 of the 2014 World Series and spawned the most notorious question of his career: should Gordon have been sent home?
The response to that question may vary depending on who you ask, and the answer is uncertain. What is certain, and highlighted by that play, his 2015 World Series home run, and so many more, is that Gordon was at the heart of the dynamic Royals teams that made consecutive World Series appearances. He was a major part of a team that never quit because he never quit. On a team with standout defense, Gordon was at the heart of it all, making diving catches and outfield assists like few others of the era. Fourteen years after first debuting, he will retire with three All-Star Game appearances, seven Gold Glove awards, and a permanent impact on Royals history.
Thank you, Alex Gordon.