Opinion

Alex Gordon thrilled to record 1,000 hits as a Royal, hopes for 2,000 with team

Royals left fielder Alex Gordon
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon The Kansas City Star

Alex Gordon is not much for sentiment, but he still collected the commemorative baseball, his bat and the lineup card from Tuesday night’s game, when he rapped his 1,000 hit in the majors.

“I might frame it,” Gordon said after the team’s 12-2 win on Tuesday. “I usually don’t look at milestones as that big of a deal, but I think 1,000 is pretty cool. Hopefully I can get it to 2,000. But I’ll take 1,000 for now.”

He passed the milestone with a fifth-inning single. He added another to increase his total, and he resides 10th on the Royals all-time hit list. With 36 more hits, he can pass Freddie Patek (1,036).

His only lament on Tuesday was the location of the moment. He would have preferred Kauffman Stadium.

“It means a lot, especially to have it with the same team the whole time,” Gordon said. “It does mean a lot. I wish I would have had it at home. That would have been pretty cool, to share it with the fans.”

Instead, he received a standing ovation from his teammates in the dugout. He eventually came around to score, part of an eight-run flurry in that frame.

The organization views Gordon as a model employee, and an exemplar for his younger teammates. He has become a two-time All Star after appearing to bottom out in his first few years in the majors.

“He’s been one of the biggest pieces of this organization, since the moment I got here,” manager Ned Yost said. “Of course, when I got here, he was in Class AAA. But from the minute I got here, I’ve always believed in this kid.

“I saw him early, and I knew he had a chance to be an All Star. I never dreamed he had a chance to be a Gold Glove winner — but he’s won three straight Gold Gloves.”

“Ned was my biggest supporter, my biggest believer,” Gordon said. “So I owe a lot of it to him, giving me a second chance, and really believing in me. I have a lot of respect for him.”

FROM THE STAR

Nori Aoki hit a grand slam. Billy Butler cracked four hits. The Royals romped over the Diamondbacks, and picked up some ground in the wild-card race.

Yost says he’s figured out a way to expand his bench: He told James Shields be ready to pinch-hit this week at Chase Field.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

24.7 percent.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“Mission Sunset” by Palms.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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