On Feb. 2, the College Baseball Foundation, in partnership with the Nebraska College Baseball Hall of Fame Foundation, hosted a dinner for the honorees of the Night of Champions event on Feb. 3. The dinner at Charles Schwab Field gave the attendees a chance to interact while enjoying dinner and stadium tours. It was also a chance for baseball greats of the past and present to share stories of the game they all love. Here, 2022 Hall of Fame inductee Andy Lopez (right) poses for a photo with his son, Michael, an assistant baseball coach at the University of New Mexico, and Gene Stephenson, legendary Wichita State head coach and a 2014 Hall of Fame inductee (Photo by Casie Schlueter).
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Gordon, who won the Brooks Wallace Award in 2005 while it still recognized the national player of the year, was inducted into the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame in November.
He played three seasons at Nebraska and helped lead the Cornhuskers to their third College World Series. He also remains in the top 10 in numerous offensive categories in the ‘Huskers record books. During his Wallace Award season in 2005, he started all 72 games, helping lead the ‘Huskers to a school-record 57 wins. He hit .372 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs. He also recorded 22 doubles and stole 23 bases in 26 attempts.
During the induction ceremony in Beatrice, Neb., Gordon thanked family, teammates and coaches for their impact on his career – both collegiate and professional – and spoke about his decision to attend Nebraska, according to the Beatrice Daily Sun.
"I was lucky enough to have guys like Rob Childress and Mike Anderson step in," Gordon said of his career at Nebraska, even after the departure of Dave Van Horn. "I was in good hands. I knew this is where I wanted to be. It had nothing to do with Dave Van Horn. I loved Nebraska, I knew this was my home and I wanted to stay close by."
Gordon retired from Major League Baseball following the 2020 season, having spent his entire 14-year career with the Kansas City Royals, the team who drafted him after his stellar career at Nebraska. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner and a three-time All-Star. He also was a key piece of the Royals’ lineup during their championship run in 2015.
On March 6, the Royals hosted their annual Minor League awards ceremony during spring training in Surprise, Arizona, and during the ceremony the organization surprised Gordon with a new award for this season – the Heart and Hustle Alex Gordon Award. According to MLB.com, the award will be presented to a player who exemplifies the best qualities of a baseball player.
“The work ethic, the preparation, the drive, getting knocked down, getting back up,” Royals manager J.J. Picollo told MLB.com. “We’re lucky to have him in the organization. He has made such a tremendous impact on our organization, leading us to a World Series, hitting one of the most iconic home runs in Royals history.”
Gordon was caught off-guard by the announcement but was honored the organization chose to name this award after him.
“What an honor. I grew up a Royals fan watching Bo Jackson, George Brett,” Gordon told MLB.com. “To be able to play for Kansas City as long as I did, and then having an award like this, it really means everything to me. All I ever wanted to do was represent Kansas City the right way when I was playing, so hopefully I can continue to do that now that I’m living the retired life. To be in the same category with those guys is a true honor.”
- Three-time first-team All-American, making him one of only 11 in history to be so honored
- Three-time All-Southwest Conference
- Posted 45 career wins (45-8 overall), good for second on the Longhorn career list
- Set Texas single-season record with 15 complete games
- Three-time SWC Most Valuable Player
- Three-time member of All-SWC Tournament Team
- 1988 SWC Newcomer of the Year
- Named MVP of 1989 NCAA Midwest Regional
- First-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics (1990)
Did you know:
Dressendorfer will become the latest Longhorn legend to have his number retired during a ceremony on March 25 during the ‘Horns series against Texas Tech at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, according to Texas Athletics.
Dressendorfer was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009 and will join fellow Texas inductees Burt Hooton, Brooks Kieschnick, Keith Moreland and Greg Swindell in the retirement honor. The other retired numbers belong to Scott Bryant, Roger Clemens, Huston Street and Taylor Jungmann.
Junior catcher Kimble Schuessler currently wears No. 10, and the number will become unavailable after he plays his last game, according to the Austin America-Statesman.
During his three-year Longhorn career, Dressendorfer recorded a 2.56 ERA with 462 strikeouts in 429.2 inning pitched. He also tallied 33 complete games during his career, second-most in school history.
He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2009.