Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Dee's All-Star Journal: Dad takes a turn
By Mark Saxon
It's a thrill for Dee Gordon to be at the All-Star Game, but it may be even more special for his proud father.
Dee Gordon has agreed to offer occasional journal entries detailing his All-Star experience. Today, his father, Tom "Flash" Gordon, takes over the journal, as told to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
As a parent, you’re more nervous for your kid and what they do than when you were playing. You want them to do well and you’re excited to be with them in such a spectacular setting as this game.
More than that, though, you know Dee’s character, his honesty and decency, and I’m more gratified with that than anything.
When things weren’t going well for Dee about a year ago, the main thing I told him was to remember back how it was when you were taking swings back home in Florida and I was hitting him groundballs on the basketball court. You’ve got to be able to go back to something. My kids are humble kids. They remember what it was like before they got to this level, and that’s very important.
I realize it’s a little strange that, as a 20-year veteran pitcher, I produced two sons who are shortstops. My younger son, Nick, was the first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins last month. When Dee was in the 11th grade, I got him on a pitcher’s mound and I thought he had a pretty good curveball, but the minute he stepped off the mound he said, ‘Dad, I’m never going on a pitcher’s mound again in my life.’
I felt like, as the older brother, he had a big influence on Nick. He saw Dee having success as a shortstop and he wanted to follow his path.
They got their speed from me. Go back and look at the tapes. Nobody ever beat me to first. One time I did forget to cover, though, and that didn’t go over well with my manager. I always considered myself an everyday player. Maybe that’s why I did better as a reliever than as a starter, because I got to be involved in more games.
We’ve had a wonderful time here together as a family. Dee has been busy, but we got to all get together at breakfast Monday. No matter how Dee does in the game tonight, I want him to know I’m proud of him.