Dee Gordon’s path to the All-Star Game has been nothing short of extraordinary. Just one season ago, the former shortstop was going through another season where he was struggling to latch on with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gordon hit .234 in 38 games with the Dodgers in 2013, which was up from his .228 average in 2012, but his play and impact on the game fell short of expectations. One season and position change later, Gordon has found success and stability with the Dodgers.
He was named to his first All-Star game, which he described as the best honor an athlete can receive, via ESPN LA:
I’ve always wanted to be an All-Star. That’s the highest honor you can have as a professional athlete and just to share that and be part of that is incredible. Now, I have another piece of the legacy to add.
Gordon also described his efforts to follow in the footsteps of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter:
I modeled myself after him. My little brother Nick, [the Minnesota Twins’ first-round draft pick] does as well. But I’m a second baseman now. Those dreams died, but I try to model my professionalism after him and stay out of the way, stay out of the papers and things and make sure people respect you.
Gordon enters the All-Star Game with a Major League best 43 stolen bases. His final swiped bag in the first half of the season was perhaps his most impressive to date as it came on a pitch out.
The 26-year-old’s transition to second base has proven to be a smooth one and it was a change that Logan White and Lorenzo Bundy believed was key to aiding Gordon settling in with the Dodgers.
Gordon will play in the All-Star Game as a reserve but once it’s over, he’ll return to the Dodgers as their leadoff man and starting second basemen who filled a void better than anyone could have expected.
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