Dad's advice changed Gordon's path in flash
Dee ascends to spot with Dodgers after flirting with basketball
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have no shortage of Major League bloodlines in the organization, highlighted most recently by the promotion of top prospect Dee Gordon to the big league roster as the shortstop replacement for the injured Rafael Furcal.
Gordon, the son of 21-year Major Leaguer Tom "Flash" Gordon, is the latest of a list that just this year includes Tony Gwynn, namesake son of the Hall of Fame former Padre, and Ivan De Jesus, son of the longtime infielder and current third-base coach of the Chicago Cubs.
Gordon credits his father for helping convince him that baseball would be a better career path than Dee's true favorite sport, basketball.
"Devaris [Dee's full name] didn't take a liking to baseball seriously until college," Tom said. "He didn't show me he wanted to be a baseball player. Basketball was where his heart was. I had no idea Devaris would dedicate himself to the game. He played basketball very well, and a lot of college teams would have given him the opportunity to play. This all happened so quickly."
Dee said he didn't really switch to baseball until he was 18. At the time, Dad pitched for Philadelphia and son hung around the team, taking grounders with shortstop Jimmy Rollins, working with hitting coach Milt Thompson and third-base coach Bill Dancy and finally accepting his father's career guidance.
"That was when I started to feel like it was my best situation," Dee said. "So I started listening to my dad and gave up basketball as far as playing on a team. I always would shoot around and I miss it, especially around Midnight Madness time."
Father made a frantic dash from Orlando to see his son's Major League debut earlier this month in Philadelphia, and he planned a visit to the West Coast to watch Dee play some home games, including on Father's Day, when the Dodgers host Houston.
"Father's Day is a day for all kids to celebrate their dads," Dee said. "For me, I can thank my dad for helping me get to the Major Leagues. He took me to the field, hit me grounders, showed me how to be a Major Leaguer. But it's a time for every child to celebrate their fathers for taking care of them and showing them the way."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.