Passing the Torch: Exclusive Interview with the “Flash” Gordon Family
Major League Baseball is just a mere dream for many. Kids grow up their whole lives with that end goal– to play professional baseball. Being that caliber of an athlete is hard to come by, but then there are families who break all odds. Hence, the Giambi brothers and the Griffey father-son duo. Then, Tom Gordon, also known as Flash Gordon and long-time Major League pitcher, would take this family feat and take it one step further with the help of his sons.
Tom began his career with the Kansas City Royals in 1988 and he’d retire with the Arizona Diamondbacks 21 years later. Through his career, he transitioned from a stater to a reliever, putting on 8 different jerseys (KC, BOS, CHC, HOU, CHW, NYY, PHI and ARI) throughout. He racked up 138 career wins with 158 saves once he became a reliever. In 2009, he decided to hang up his cleats and return to his hometown.
The journey of the Gordon’s across baseball continued in 2008. Tom’s son, Devaris, also known as Dee, would steal his father’s spotlight. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Dee Gordon in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. Dee would come into his own after making his Major League debut in 2011, batting .304 his rookie season. He would string together consecutive All-Star seasons in 2014 and 2015. Dee’s breakout season was in 2015 with the Miami Marlins batting .333 with 58 stolen bases. He definitely holds the “Flash Jr.” name well with his lightening quick speed.
But 2015 was more than just an individual success for Dee, his brother, Nick Gordon wouldn’t be left behind. The Minnesota Twins drafted Flash the 3rd with the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft– directly out of Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida. He spent last season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and is currently with the Fort Myers Miracle. Though he isn’t has fast on the base paths as his brother, Nick is definitely quick and has plenty of raw talent that will be continued to be developed. He is off to a great start this season as he was named a Florida State League All-Star.
On June 18th, I covered the FSL All-Star game where I met and spoke with baseball’s historic trio. Tom and Dee were in attendance, along with the rest of the Gordon family, to support Nick.
What a Father’s Day weekend for Mr. Tom Gordon, watching his son play in his first MiLB All-Star game and spending time with his big league son. He said, “For a father its a dream come true being able to watch your kids play sports, do well in school, and be high character kids. But to see them where they are is a blessing, I have never been more proud of my kids.”
Tom continued on and showed the gratitude for the many blessings in his life, “I thank God for the game. I thank God for everything that’s happened to me and my boys. The things that we’ve learned, the lessons we’ve learned, as well as the relationships we’ve built with players, coaches, executives and even fans. It’s been a blessing for us because it’s the game I loved growing up and of course I didn’t just want to push it on my boys, but at the same time I’m grateful that they loved baseball the same way I did. They work as hard as they do, they’re loyal to the fans and to themselves. I’ve been blessed– we’ve been blessed.”
For Dee, stepping down from the big league atmosphere to see his brother excel was a great experience– he said “It’s a blessing to be here and an even greater blessing to have him doing so well. It’s amazing getting to watch him in his first All-Star game. Seeing him break up the no hitter, getting on base twice and just helping his team get into a position to win. Hopefully this is the first ASG of many. It’s exciting to see him play.”
Tom spoke on Nick’s ASG performance, “For him to do as well as they do on and off the field, and to go out there play each and every day — it’s a tough game, it’s grueling game — it’s incredible. I’m so proud of him and Dee, as well.”
After the game, I spoke with Nick. First and foremost, he speaks on how humbling the experience is along with how grateful he is for his supporters and the Twins organization, “My dad played a big role in my success. Baseball ran through him. And the same goes for my brother, they definitely were a major part of it all. They’re big blessings to me and I’m just grateful for them and I can’t thank them enough. I’m just as grateful for the Twins. They do a great job at developing players and getting them where they need to be at the right time. They’ve got a good plan for each and every player and they treat every player the same. It’s definitely a blessing to be in an organization like this.”
Nick is currently the 4th ranked prospect in the Twins organization and the first shortstop on the list. Gordon spoke on the his Prospect Rank in regard to the farm system, “It’s a blessing, it’s my dream to play and to be recognized for the skills and ability that I have it’s definitely an honor.
His first All-Star game was one for the books. “It was fun. You play against these guys all year. All of them are horses, man. They’re all good. Just to be able to be in the clubhouse with them and be able to pick their minds is definitely something I’ll never forget.”
Tom Gordon has passed the torch down to Dee. But as Nick develops, we’ll see the torch passed yet again, except this time it’s from brother to brother. Expect to see Nick in the Majors in a few short years; he is an incredible young man and his talent has no ceiling.
The Gordon name is slowly becoming a household name for all baseball fans. “It feels good to know that my family works hard and that we’ve established ourselves to become something. We’re out here to help others and show every how we did it through baseball. We’re blessed.” Nick said in regards to their trio. The brothers have always supported and rooted for each other to do well but when Nick hits the show, a fun and exciting family rivalry will begin.
Feature Photo Courtesy of Julian Oliveros