Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon

2B, 1B, SS
February 18, 1915
5' 10"
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-18-1938 with NYA
Allstar Selections:
1942 MVP
Hall of Fame:

Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon

Steady Joe Gordon hit 20 or more home runs seven times in his 11-year career, which was interrupted by military service in World War II. Despite playing in poor parks for his right-handed power, Gordon socked more than 250 home runs, setting an AL career record for homers by a second baseman. He was also a fine defensive player who won five World Series rings with the Yankees and Indians. His contemporary, Bobby Doerr, was later inducted into the Hall of Fame, while "Flash," who was generally regarded as at least Doerr's equal when the two were active, has yet to be honored.

Career Batting Stats
1566 5707 1530 914 253 975 89 .268 .466 .357 .822 113.5

Quotes About Joe Gordon

"If there's any doubt about Gordon's infielding ability, it was dispelled today when the Oregon flash approached a record in successful chances. In the nightcap Joe Handled 17 chances without a flaw. Fifteen of these were handled in nine innings as he missed the modern nine-inning record by two." — James P. Dawson of the New York Times, reporting on the Yankees' doubleheader of July 4, 1938.

Teams Joe Gordon Managed

Cleveland Indians (1958-1960)
Detroit Tigers (1960)
Kansas City Athletics (1961)
Kansas City Royals (1969)


Where does Joe Gordon rank among baseball greats?

Joe Gordon ranks among the Top 50 all-time at 2B. Rankings

Joe Gordon Alltime teammates:


Best Season: 1948
Yes, he won the MVP Award in 1942, but in 1948 Gordon was a more complete player. His defense was slightly better and he was playing in a league with all of its' stars. Gordon helped the Indians to their first pennant in 28 seasons, batting .280 with 77 walks, 96 runs, 32 homers, 124 RBI and a .507 slugging percentage. He was second in the AL to Joe DiMaggio in home runs and finished sixth in MVP voting.


Joe Gordon collected exactly 1,000 hits and played exactly 1,000 games for the New York Yankees.

Gordon and Doerr
Gordon made nine All-Star Games, Bobby Doerr was named to ten. In 1939, 1940, 1942, 1947, and 1948, Gordon started the Mid-Summer Classic; in the years they were both in the game, Doerr started in 1941, 1943, 1944, 1946 (in 1943-1944 Gordon was in the war). In 1949, Doerr wasn't named, Cass Michaels was the starter, and Gordon entered the game in place of Michaels. The fact is, All-Star voters picked Gordon over Doerr head-to-head almost every year. Of course, his managers were usually managing the All-Star Game, but the fact still remains that many people who saw Gordon and Doerr play, selected Gordon as the better player.

Where He Played
Gordon played more than 1,500 games at his primary position, second base. Despite Gordon's esteemed defensive reputation, Joe McCarthy inexplicably moved him to first base at the start of the 1941 season. Amazingly, the move was not motivated by a gaping hole at first base, but rather the desire to get rookie Jerry Priddy in the lineup at second. Priddy was a fantastic defensive infielder, teaming with his friend Phil Rizzuto as a double play duo in the minor leagues. With rookie Rizzuto at short for the Yankees, McCarthy shifted Gordon to first to make room for Priddy, giving the Bombers an all-rookie Dp combo. In moving one of the two best defensive second basemen in
baseball, McCarthy had made a curious decision, all in order to reunite Priddy and Rizzuto. In May, Priddy was hovering near .220 and the Yanks were off to a poor start, when McCarthy moved Gordon back to second. The brief experiment did little to stop the Yankees, who won the pennant. Priddy was traded to Washington prior to the 1943 season.

As a Manager
In 1960 he was traded in the only swap of managers in baseball history, when the Indians sent him to Detroit for Jimmy Dykes. Additionally, he is the only man to skipper both the A's and Royals in Kansas City.


Joseph Lowell Gordon was born on February 18, 1915, in Los Angeles, CA.


April 14, 1978, Sacramento, CA


Batted:  Right
Threw:  Right


Major League Debut
4 18,1938

Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1938
Enos Slaughter
Lou Boudreau
Joe Gordon
Sam Chapman
Roy Cullenbine
Preacher Roe
Max Lanier
Mort Cooper
Taffy Wright



"Flash" was in reference to the popular action figure of the 1930s, and for Joe's quick feet around the second base bag.


Uniform Numbers
#6 (1938-1943, 1946), #4 (1947-1950)


Similar Players
Jeff Kent


Related Players
Bobby Doerr, Tony Lazzeri


Hall of Fame Voting
Year Election Votes Pct
1945 BBWAA 1 .4%
1955 BBWAA 1 .4%
1958 BBWAA 11 4.1%
1960 BBWAA 11 4.1%
1962 BBWAA 4 2.5%
1964 Run Off 1 .4%
1964 BBWAA 30 14.9%
1966 BBWAA 31 10.3%
1967 BBWAA 66 22.6%
1967 Run Off 13 4.2%
1968 BBWAA 77 27.2%
1969 BBWAA 97 28.5%
1970 BBWAA 79 26.3%

Post-Season Appearances
1938 World Series
1939 World Series
1941 World Series
1942 World Series
1943 World Series
1948 World Series


Post-Season Notes
Gordon belted four homers in the World Series, hit .400 in the 1938 sweep of the Cubs, and .500 in the five-game win over the Dodgers in 1941. His teams were 5-1 in the World Series, winning 21 of 28 games.

Awards and Honors
1942 AL MVP


Batting Feats

  • September 8, 1940: Cycle...

Gordon was sabotaged by his home park for his entire career, both at Yankee Stadium and Cleveland Stadium. For his career, Gordon hit .256 with 256 extra-base hits in 769 games at home, and .279 with 303 extra-base hits in 797 games on the road. His right-handed power was hampered by the deep fences in left in Yankee Stadium, and the deep power-alleys in Clevelend.


Hitting Streaks
29 games (1942)

All-Star Selections
1939 AL
1940 AL
1941 AL
1942 AL
1943 AL
1946 AL
1947 AL
1948 AL
1949 AL

Tony Lazzeri

Replaced By
Bobb Avila

Best Strength as a Player
Power, with his defensive play a close second.

Largest Weakness as a Player
None that are overtly apparent.

This day in baseball history

October 01

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  • 2006

    On October 1, 2006, in front of a record crowd at Angels Sta ...

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More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

2008 Hall of Fame, AL MVP 1942, All Star, Cleveland Indians, Joe Gordon, New York Yankees, Second baseman


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