KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From first-round draft pick out of Nebraska to seven Gold Gloves and a World Series title, Royals outfielder Alex Gordon announced his retirement Thursday.
While baseball has always been a passion, it’s clear that Kansas City holds a special place in his heart.
The 36-year-old grew up a Royals fan in nearby Lincoln, Nebraska. Since being drafted by Kansas City in 2005, Gordon has taken an immediate interest in Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a national nonprofit that helps raise money for pediatric cancer research.
“I’ll probably start crying because he means so much to me personally,” said Susan Blowey, who works locally with the nonprofit.
She’s watched as Gordon volunteered to help raise close to $1 million to help sick children.
“That’s his heart for kids, in general,” Blowey said. “He works hard. He gives 110% no matter what it is. That’s how I feel like he’s been for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.”
Gordon’s 14-year run with the Royals includes the glory of back-to-back World Series appearances and countless hits and catches that kept baseball fans buzzing.
Many Royals fans were shocked and saddened to learn about Gordon’s goodbye Thursday.
“Alex Gordon is my daughter’s favorite player,” Jamie Simpson from Lee’s Summit said. “When they went to the World Series, both in ’14 and ’15, she just loved him. We got her her first official Royals jersey … she’ll be so disappointed.”
“He’s been my favorite player since Mike Sweeney. To hear him leave, he’s the life of the Royals. When you think about the Royals, you think about Gordon,” said Nick D’Adamo from Overland Park.
Gordon will play in the final four games of this season before calling it a career. Blowey said she expects Alex to spend more time with the kids — both his three children and the ones in need he’s blessed along his ride to glory.