Kansas City Royals: Thank you Alex Gordon

The Kansas City Royals’ season has come to a close and with that, so has the career of outfielder Alex Gordon.

While this season was an odd one, we all figured that by season’s end there’d be a good chance that Alex Gordon would call it a career and retire. At 36 years old, Gordon’s better days were behind him and with the Kansas City Royals continuing their rebuild, it was the right time for Gordon to step away.

The Royals took Gordon second overall in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Nebraska and he was drafted as a third baseman, a position that wouldn’t work out well for him. Gordon was struggling so badly in the majors that the organization sent him back to the minors to learn an entirely new position in hopes that it would rejuvenate his career.

That it did, as Gordon became one of the best left fielders in the game, securing seven Gold Gloves during that span. His plate approach changed too and he became a respectable hitter as well. This all needed to happen in order for the Royals to take the next step.

Without Alex Gordon, this team doesn’t win the World Series in 2015.

You could honestly say that about anyone on that 2015 team, as it truly was a team effort, but Gordon had arguably the biggest play of the entire World Series against the Mets. The Royals trailed by one run in Game 1 of the series and if they ended up losing, a lot of people were going to point at Eric Hosmer as to why, as he had a costly error that allowed a Mets run to score.

As that team so often did for each other, Gordon picked up Hosmer by belting the game-tying home run in the ninth inning to send it into extras. He did so off of Jeurys Familia, one of the league’s best closers that year.

The image of Gordon rounding the bases with his finger in the air is one that Royals fans will remember for the rest of their lives. That moment was easily Gordon’s biggest moment for the organization, but it’ll be hard to forget when he crashed into the wall in 2014 to record an out or when he jumped into the stands in Chicago to grab a foul ball.

Then there’s the more “meh” memories that fans wish they didn’t remember, such as Gordon striking out with the bases loaded in his MLB debut. Oh, and remember when he was stranded on third base in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series? That’s one that wasn’t Gordon’s fault, but he’ll always be linked to that moment and fortunately for the Royals, they won it all next year so we didn’t have to keep harping on this.

Alex Gordon signed the biggest contract in franchise history and while the first three years of that deal were a bust, the Royals were paying Gordon for what he had given them already and not for what he was going to do. He continued to play great defense and served as a wonderful mentor for the younger players coming up through the system.

My hope is that Gordon stays with the team in a front office role and can continue to help this team grow even if he isn’t on the field.

No matter where Alex Gordon goes next in life, Kansas City Royals fans will always be grateful for what he did for this team, for this town, and for baseball.

Thank you, Alex Gordon.

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