Monday, August 17, 2020

Final Card: Joe Gordon

Unlike the last card posted on this blog (Tom Burgmeier) this is an early-season card (#484), which means an airbrushed gem for an expansion team member.

Joe Gordon made his final managerial stop with the 1st-year Kansas City Royals in 1969.

Much earlier, Joe was the Yankees' 2nd baseman from 1938-43, and 1946 (missing 2 years during World War II). Some of his teammates were Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Bill Dickey.  (He missed Babe Ruth by 4 years.)

Gordon was a 6-time All-Star, and the 1942 American League MVP.

After the 1946 season he was traded to the Indians for pitcher Allie Reynolds. Joe was their 2nd baseman for the next 4 seasons, and made 3 more trips to the All-Star game. In 1948 he led the Tribe in home runs and RBI (as a 2nd baseman!)

He was released after the 1950 season (odd, being 1-year removed from an All-Star appearance, and having played 119 games in 1950).


Gordon was a player-manager for the PCL’s Sacramento team from 1951-52 then scouted for the Tigers for several seasons before returning to manage the Red Sox' San Francisco team in the PCL from 1956-57.

Joe was the Indians' manager from midway through the 1958 season to mid-1960. In August 1960, he was traded to the Tigers for Jimmie Dykes (a manager-for-manager trade!)

Let go after the season, he managed the Kansas City Athletics for the first 59 games of the 1961 season, before owner Charley Finley canned him.

Gordon scouted for the Angels from 1961-68, then managed the expansion Royals for one season, piloting them to 4th place (ahead of the established White Sox and expansion Pilots), then retired after the season at age 54.

He passed away in 1978 at age 63.

Gordon was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.