Dee Gordon on gifting his gear to a Mariners fan: ‘I felt like she would get more use out of it than I was’
Dee Gordon is generous with his time, energy, money – even his baseball gear.
That last part we know for sure after a picture of Gordon gifting his batting gloves, arm sleeve and bat to Mariners fan and Special Olympian Annie Rogers went viral on Wednesday.
Gordon doesn’t do good things for attention, however. In fact, the only reason the picture of Gordon and Rogers went viral is because Annie’s brother, 710 ESPN Seattle host Curtis Rogers, just happened to tweet a picture of the moment he took on his phone.
Dee Gordon stopped my sister in her tracks and handed her his bat, batting gloves, and arm sleeve. He’s the man. pic.twitter.com/i3zKWdg4gf
— Curtis Rogers (@AKidFromKent) March 7, 2019
That moment is far from Gordon’s only recent act of kindness. He traveled to Rwanda over the offseason, part of his ongoing participation with the charity Food for the Hungry, and in previous offseasons he has done work to help those in need from the Dominican Republic and Syria. But when asked Thursday afternoon during an interview with Danny, Dave and Moore at Mariners spring training about his time in Rwanda, Gordon wasn’t looking to shine a light on his charitable side.
“I don’t really wanna talk it about,” Gordon answered. “I didn’t go for any (publicity) for it or anything like that. I went just to help. That’s it. I just wanna help. I don’t need nobody to put my name in the paper, I don’t need any of that. I just want to help, and when I go to sleep my God knows that I did what I had to do with what he blessed me with to help somebody else.”
And while his gifts to Annie Rogers caught attention on social media, garnering over 27,000 likes and being retweeted with the hashtag “#biggerthanbaseball” by MLB’s Twitter account, he stressed that he wasn’t looking for the recognition.
“I didn’t do none of that for the likes,” he said. “… I saw her and I just seen she was so happy to be here, so I gave her what I had.
“I felt like she would get more use out of it than I was. I was just wearing it in practice, so I made sure somebody else got a better use out of it than I was.”
Here are a few more highlights from Gordon’s conversation on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Humble, but not too humble
While Gordon was shy when the subject of his charitable acts came up, he allowed himself to be boastful during one portion of the interview.
When asked by Danny O’Neil how he got to the level he has reached in the Major Leagues – he is a two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner and batting champion – the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Gordon got right to the point.
“I ain’t gonna be politically correct right now, I’m gonna honest. Where I come from … nobody really gave me a chance, either, so this is a day-in, day-out thing for me – I always had something (to prove) … and to shoot for. I’m playing with some superhuman people and I’m a regular human. I’m just faster than them – that’s it. And that’s what motivates me.
“Growing up I wasn’t the best baseball player – I actually was, but nobody knew it. I was the smallest player, I was the runt of the litter. So that’s what motivates me. Just keep being the runt of the litter and keep making these big dudes look stupid. … I shut a lot of people up. Like, a lot, all the time, pretty much every day. It’s pretty cool.”
Back on two feet and 10 toes
Gordon arrived in Seattle like a house of fire in 2018, with a .353 batting average and 15 steals to his credit through his first 34 games. A broken toe took the wind out of his sails, however, and he finished the year with a .268 average and 30 steals.
He’s determined to bounce back in 2019, and he conveyed that with a simple message just as he was signing off from the interview.
“Y’all probably see a little less enthusiasm and energy wasted off in the dugout and more of it on the field this year,” he said.
Just so you know, Gordon says he’s Wade LeBlanc’s best friend
Veteran Mariners left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc has a strong friendship with fellow Seattle southpaw Marco Gonzales that is pretty well known online, as well as one that’s maybe more under the radar with righty Mike Leake. But when LeBlanc walked past Gordon and the 710 ESPN Seattle hosts towards the end of the interview, Gordon told everyone that he’s closer with LeBlanc than anybody.
“That’s my bestie. Y’all heard that? That’s my bestie. Marco, you’re not his bestie. Neither are you, Mike Leake.”