After rebranding himself in honor of his late mother, former batting champion Dee Strange-Gordon looks to take advantage of a fresh start with the Brewers. Gordon had one of the unforgettable and touching baseball moments of the decade during one of the game’s most somber moments.
The day after All-Star pitcher and Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez tragically passed, Strange-Gordon led off the game by stepping into the right side of the batter’s box as Fernandez did and took a pitch.
As if scripted for a movie directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Strange-Gordon then switched to his familiar left side and blasted a lead-off home run, sending his teammates and city into a frenzy. He crossed the plate and cried inconsolably as the Marlins would go on to win 7-3.
Fast forward to 2021, Strange-Gordon is back in the senior circuit after signing a minor league deal with Milwaukee.
In his 10th season, the 33-year-old saw success during his time in spring training with the Cincinnati Reds. He hit .281 with 4 RBIs and 4 steals but was released from the team on March 26.
Strange Gordon comes from a baseball family. His father Thomas “Flash” Gordon played for eight teams in his 21-year MLB career.
In 1998-1999 Flash set a then major league record by recording 54 consecutive saves. His younger, half-brother Nick Gordon, was drafted out of Olympia High School in Orlando, Fl., in the 5th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins.
He played in the 2010 Futures Game and was rated as one of the top prospects in the Twins’ organization, but has dealt with a few injury bumps, including a bout with Covid-19 that left him hospitalized last year.
Despite being the son of a famous pitcher, Dee’s journey has not been without its trauma. His mom and dad didn’t stay together. He then lost his mother at the age of six when she was killed by her boyfriend. It was not the first time his mother had been a victim of domestic violence. Just days prior to her death, that same boyfriend was being abusive and Dee saved her by hitting him over the head with a dumbbell.
This season he decided to honor her by re-using his legal surname. He had gone by the name for most of his life but at one point decided to simplify his last name after it was once mispronounced by an announcer during a rookie ball game.
Strange-Gordon made the 2014 and 2015 All-Star games stealing 122 bases during that span. He won both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award in 2015 as a second baseman for the Miami Marlins. His legs were a weapon for any team that secured his services.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 15, 2021
Just when it seemed like everything was perfect, Dee was suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2016 and missed 80 games. He hit .308 in 2017 and stole 60 bases for the second time in his career.
He became an outfielder after joining a Mariners team that already had Robinson Cano. In three seasons with Seattle, Strange Gordon hit .266 despite having a rough 2020 that saw him hit just .200 in 33 games.
The Dee Strange-Gordon signing just became all the more important https://t.co/MBHyd9VkiC
— Reviewing the Brew (@ReviewngTheBrew) April 8, 2021
Instead of toiling in the minors, Dee has an opportunity to make himself valuable again. With Kolten Wong expected to land on the injury list and Luis Urias struggling at the plate, it’s possible Dee Strange Gordon will get to make an impact on a very good Brewers team looking to leapfrog into the conversation as baseball’s best team.