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Alex Gordon was a journalist working for the Leicester Mail. In late 1916 he was recruited by Herbert Booth to work as an undercover agent working for PMS2, a branch of MI5, via the Ministry of Munitions. He used a variety of different names as a spy including Herbert Vincent, Albert Richard and William Rickard.
Booth told him that his boss, Major William Lauriston Melville Lee, "is a crank on Socialism" and wanted him to "get in touch with people who might be likely to commit sabotage" against the state during the First World War. Gordon was paid £2 10s with bonuses. Herbert Booth added "the more exciting the copy (information), the better the governor (Major Lee) would be pleased." Booth then went on to say: "There is nothing particularly wrong about it (spying) and no names will be published and no harm done that way. You will be setting forth a list of facts. You will (need to) be able to state the case as to the militancy and the attitude of any people who may be there towards the war."
Gordon's first task was to visit the International Workers of the World (IWW) organisation in London. As well as obtaining some leaflets he was asked to draw a plan of the building. Soon afterwards the IWW headquarters was raided by the police. This was followed by a visit to the Communist Party office in Charlotte Street. Once again he was asked to draw a map that enabled a successful police raid.
Gordon was then sent to Derby to infiltrate the peace movement in the town. Nicola Rippon has argued in her book, The Plot to Kill Lloyd George (2009): "Having been sent to a particular town, agents acted mostly of their own volition, following leads as they chose and coming into contact with their superiors only when they had something significant to report. But the most troubling aspect of this method of information-gathering was that many of the so-called 'agents' were nothing of the sort. They were in fact little more than paid informants, with no espionage training; worse, they were often paid only on results. The better the information supplied, the more the informer was rewarded. Far from being motivated by serving their country, the informants' interests were purely financial and they knew that the more salacious the information gathered, the better their earnings. Consequently they were often tempted to exaggerate or even invent information to ensure a healthy wage. It was a risky and entirely unsatisfactory way of acquiring intelligence."
On 27th December 1916, Alex Gordon arrived at the home of Alice Wheeldon, who along with John S. Clarke, Hettie Wheeldon, Winnie Mason and Arthur McManus, had established a network in Derby to help those conscientious objectors who refused to serve in the armed forces.
Gordon claimed to be a conscientious objector on the run from the police. Alice arranged for him to spend the night at the home of Lydia Robinson. a couple of days later Gordon returned to Alice's home with Herbert Booth, another man who he said was a member of the anti-war movement. According to Alice, Gordon and Booth both told her that dogs now guarded the camps in which conscientious objectors were held; and that they had suggested to her that poison would be necessary to eliminate the animals, in order that the men could escape.
Alice Wheeldon agreed to ask her son-in-law, Alfred Mason, who was a chemist in Southampton, to obtain the poison, as long as Gordon helped her with her plan to get her son to the United States: "Being a businesswoman I made a bargain with him (Gordon) that if I could assist him in getting his friends from a concentration camp by getting rid of the dogs, he would, in his turn, see to the three boys, my son, Mason and a young man named MacDonald, whom I have kept, get away."
On 31st January 1917, Alice Wheeldon, Hettie Wheeldon, Winnie Mason and Alfred Mason were arrested and charged with plotting to murder the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson, the leader of the Labour Party.
At Alice's home they found Alexander Macdonald of the Sherwood Foresters who had been absent without leave since December 1916. When arrested Alice claimed: "I think it is a such a trumped-up charge to punish me for my lad being a conscientious objector... you punished him through me while you had him in prison... you brought up an unfounded charge that he went to prison for and now he has gone out of the way you think you will punish him through me and you will do it."
The trial began on 6th March 1917. Alice Wheeldon selected Saiyid Haidan Riza as her defence counsel. He had only recently qualified as a lawyer and it would seem that he was chosen because of his involvement in the socialist movement.
In his opening statement Sir Frederick Smith argued that the "Wheeldon women were in the habit of employing, habitually, language which would be disgusting and obscene in the mouth of the lowest class of criminal." He went on to claim that the main evidence against the defendants was from the testimony of the two undercover agents. However, it was disclosed that Alex Gordon would not be appearing in court to give his evidence.
Basil Thomson, the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, argued in his book, The Story of Scotland Yard (1935) that Gordon was an agent who "was a person with a criminal history, or he had invented the whole story to get money and credit from his employer."
Herbert Booth said in court that Alice Wheeldon had confessed to him that she and her daughters had taken part in the arson campaign when they were members of the Women's Social and Political Union. According to Booth, Alice claimed that she used petrol to set fire to the 900-year-old church of All Saints at Breadsall on 5th June 1914. She added: "You know the Breadsall job? We were nearly copped but we bloody well beat them!"
Booth also claimed on another occasion, when speaking about David Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson she remarked: "I hope the buggers will soon be dead." Alice added that Lloyd George had been "the cause of millions of innocent lives being sacrificed, the bugger shall be killed to stop it... and as for that other bugger Henderson, he is a traitor to his people." Booth also claimed that Alice made a death-threat to Herbert Asquith who she described as "the bloody brains of the business."
Herbert Booth testified that he asked Alice what the best method was to kill David Lloyd George. She replied: "We (the WSPU) had a plan before when we spent £300 in trying to poison him... to get a position in a hotel where he stayed and to drive a nail through his boot that had been dipped in the poison, but he went to France, the bugger."
Sir Frederick Smith argued that the plan was to use this method to kill the prime minister. He then produced letters in court that showed that Alice had contacted Alfred Mason and obtained four glass phials of poison that she gave to Booth. They were marked A, B, C and D. Later scientific evidence revealed the contents of two phials to be forms of strychnine, the others types of curare. However, the leading expert in poisons, Dr. Bernard Spilsbury, under cross-examination, admitted that he did not know of a single example "in scientific literature" of curate being administered by a dart.
Alice turned the jury against her when she refused to swear on the Bible. The judge responded by commenting: "You say that an affirmation will be the only power binding upon your conscience?" The implication being that the witness, by refusing to swear to God, would be more likely to be untruthful in their testimony." This was a common assumption held at the time. However, to Alice, by openly stating that she was an atheist, was her way of expressing her commitment to the truth.
Alice admitted that she had asked Alfred Mason to obtain poison to use on dogs guarding the camps in which conscientious objectors were held. This was supported by the letter sent by Mason that had been intercepted by the police. It included the following: "All four (glass phials) will probably leave a trace but if the bloke who owns it does suspect it will be a job to prove it. As long as you have a chance to get at the dog I pity it. Dead in 20 sec. Powder A on meat or bread is ok."
She insisted that Gordon's plan involved the killing of the guard dogs. He had told her that he knew of at least thirty COs who had escaped to America and that he was particularly interested in "five Yiddish still in the concentration camp." Gordon also claimed he had helped two other Jewish COs escape from imprisonment.
Alice Wheeldon admitted that she had told Alex Gordon that she hoped David Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson would soon be dead as she regarded them as "a traitor to the labouring classes?" However, she was certain that she had not said this when she handed over the poison to Gordon.
When Hettie Wheeldon gave evidence she claimed that It was Gordon and Booth who suggested that they assassinate the prime minister. She replied: "I said I thought assassination was ridiculous. The only thing to be done was to organise the men in the work-shops against compulsory military service. I said assassination was ridiculous because if you killed one you would have to kill another and so it would go on."
Hettie said that she was immediately suspicious of her mother's new friends: "I thought Gordon and Booth were police spies. I told my mother of my suspicions on 28 December. By the following Monday I was satisfied they were spies. I said to my mother: "You can do what you like, but I am having nothing to do with it."
In court Winnie Mason admitted having helped her mother to obtain poison, but insisted that it was for "some dogs" and was "part of the scheme for liberating prisoners for internment". Her husband, Alfred Mason, explained why he would not have supplied strychnine to kill a man as it was "too bitter and easily detected by any intended victim". He added that curare would not kill anything bigger than a dog.
Saiyid Haidan Riza argued that this was the first trial in English legal history to rely on the evidence of a secret agent. As Nicola Rippon pointed out in her book, The Plot to Kill Lloyd George (2009): "Riza declared that much of the weight of evidence against his clients was based on the words and actions of a man who had not even stood before the court to face examination." Riza argued: "I challenge the prosecution to produce Gordon. I demand that the prosecution shall produce him, so that he may be subjected to cross-examination. It is only in those parts of the world where secret agents are introduced that the most atrocious crimes are committed. I say that Gordon ought to be produced in the interest of public safety. If this method of the prosecution goes unchallenged, it augurs ill for England."
The judge disagreed with the objection to the use of secret agents. "Without them it would be impossible to detect crimes of this kind." However, he admitted that if the jury did not believe the evidence of Herbert Booth, then the case "to a large extent fails". Apparently, the jury did believe the testimony of Booth and after less than half-an-hour of deliberation, they found Alice Wheeldon, Winnie Mason and Alfred Mason guilty of conspiracy to murder. Alice was sentenced to ten years in prison. Alfred got seven years whereas Winnie received "five years' penal servitude."
On 13th March, three days after the conviction, the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, published an open letter to the Home Secretary that included the following: "We demand that the Police Spies, on whose evidence the Wheeldon family is being tried, be put in the Witness Box, believing that in the event of this being done fresh evidence will be forthcoming which will put a different complexion on the case."
Basil Thomson, the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, was also unconvinced by the guilt of Alice Wheeldon and her family. Thomson later said that he had "an uneasy feeling that he himself might have acted as what the French call an agent provocateur - an inciting agent - by putting the idea into the woman's head, or, if the idea was already there, by offering to act as the dart-thrower."
Ramsay MacDonald, the MP for Leicester, made a speech in the House of Commons complaining about the activities of people like Alex Gordon. He pointed out the dangers of using "agents provocateurs who make their money out of the manufacture of crime".
Nicola Rippon pointed out in her book, The Plot to Kill Lloyd George (2009): "Labour MP, William Crawford Anderson, the member for Sheffield Attercliffe, himself a trades union organiser, tried to get the Labour Party to investigate Gordon."
In early December 1919 Alex Gordon arrived at the offices of the Derby Daily Express offering to sell information "to anyone about anything". As he was carrying a gun at the time he was removed from the premises by the police.
On 27th December, 1919, The Daily Herald published an interview with Alex Gordon. The journalist who carried out the interview claimed that Gordon was consumed by paranoia and guilt and appeared to be "making a great effort to control his condition of haunting anxiety and nervous dread". He confessed to being recruited by Herbert Booth to work for MI5 and told of the work he did against the IWW and the Communist Party. However, he refused to talk about his role in the conviction of Alice Wheeldon, Winnie Mason and Alfred Mason.
Being a businesswoman I made a bargain with him (Gordon) that if I could assist him in getting his friends from a concentration camp by getting rid of the dogs, he would, in his turn, see to the three boys, my son, Mason and a young man named MacDonald, whom I have kept, get away.
We demand that the Police Spies, on whose evidence the Wheeldon family is being tried, be put in the Witness Box, believing that in the event of this being done fresh evidence will be forthcoming which will put a different complexion on the case.
Having been sent to a particular town, agents acted mostly of their own volition, following leads as they chose and coming into contact with their superiors only when they had something significant to report. It was a risky and entirely unsatisfactory way of acquiring intelligence.
Jamie Gordon MLB player Alex Gordon’s Wife
Meet Alex Gordon’s beautiful wife, Jamie Gordon. This Fab MLB Wag married to the Gold medalist and MLB player with the Kansas City Royals since 2010.
Alex Gordon from Lincoln, Nebraska, was a member of the 2004 U.S. National Team that won the gold at the 2004 Tainan World University Championships. Gordon attended the University of Nebraska and was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the second pick overall of the 2005 MLB Draft.
The first thing you need to know is that Alex’s gorgeous wife Jamie, 30, was born Jamie Boesche in Lincoln, Nebraska to parents Brian, 56, and Vicki Boesche, 55, Jamie has one sister (we believe) Jessica, 28., now Jessica Hoffart. Jamie is a Lincoln East graduate they met at the University of Nebraska where she was a sorority girl. Jamie Gordon got her bachelor’s in education at Nebraska and got her master’s at Kansas.
Jamie and Alex got engaged in December 2007 and got married that same year subsequently, they went to Jamaica for their honeymoon. Their first son Max was born in September 2010 and little Alex last August.
Gordon escaped in March 1863 from the 3,000-acre (12 km 2 ) plantation of John and Bridget Lyons, who held him and nearly 40 other people in slavery at the time of the 1860 census.   The Lyons plantation was located along the west bank of the Atchafalaya River in St. Landry Parish, between present-day Melville and Krotz Springs, Louisiana. 
To mask his scent from the bloodhounds that were chasing him, Gordon took onions from his plantation, which he carried in his pockets. After crossing each creek or swamp, he rubbed his body with the onions to throw the dogs off his scent. He fled over 40 miles (64 km)  over the course of 10 days before reaching Union soldiers of the XIX Corps who were stationed in Baton Rouge. 
McPherson and his partner Mr. Oliver, who were in camp at the time, produced carte de visite photos of Gordon showing his back. 
During the examination, Gordon said,
Ten days from to-day I left the plantation. Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped he discharged the overseer.  My master was not present. I don't remember the whipping. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping and my sense began to come—I was sort of crazy. I tried to shoot everybody. They said so, I did not know. I did not know that I had attempted to shoot everyone they told me so. I burned up all my clothes but I don't remember that. I never was this way (crazy) before. I don't know what make me come that way (crazy). My master come after I was whipped saw me in bed he discharged the overseer. They told me I attempted to shoot my wife the first one I did not shoot any one I did not harm any one. My master's Capt. JOHN LYON,  cotton planter, on Atchafalya, near Washington, Louisiana. Whipped two months before Christmas. 
Dr. Samuel Knapp Towle, Surgeon, 30th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, wrote in a letter about meeting Gordon. He had expected him to be vicious due to the whip scars on his back. Instead, he said "he seems INTELLIGENT and WELL-BEHAVED." [Towle's emphasis].  Other physicians, like J.W. Mercer, Asst. Surgeon 47th Massachusetts Volunteers as well as a surgeon of the First Louisiana regiment (colored), said in 1863 that they had seen many backs like this   and that when people talked of humane treatment of blacks, the photo of Gordon's back told the true story. 
Gordon joined the Union Army as a guide three months after the Emancipation Proclamation allowed for the enrollment of freed slaves into the military forces. On one expedition, he was taken prisoner by the Confederates they tied him up, beat him, and left him for dead. He survived and once more escaped to Union lines. 
Gordon soon afterwards enlisted in a U.S. Colored Troops Civil War unit. He was said by The Liberator to have fought bravely as a sergeant in the Corps d'Afrique during the Siege of Port Hudson in May 1863.  It was the first time that African-American soldiers played a leading role in an assault. 
In July 1863 these images appeared in an article about Gordon published in Harper's Weekly, the most widely read journal during the Civil War.  The pictures of Gordon's scourged back provided Northerners with visual evidence of brutal treatment of enslaved people and inspired many free blacks to enlist in the Union Army. 
The Atlantic 's editor-in-chief James Bennet in 2011 noted, "Part of the incredible power of this image I think is the dignity of that man. He's posing. His expression is almost indifferent. I just find that remarkable. He's basically saying, 'This is a fact.'" 
Theodore Tilton, editor of The Independent in New York stated: "This card-photograph should be multiplied by the hundred thousand, and scattered over the states. It tells the story in a way that even Mrs. Stowe cannot approach because it tells the story to the eye. If seeing is believing—and it is in the immense majority of cases—seeing this card would be equivalent to believing things of the slave states which Northern men and women would move heaven and earth to abolish!"  
The beginning of the end for Alex Gordon
Every baseball game is made up of hundreds of individual moments. Each moment is mostly inconsequential by itself, but the combined weight of dozens of those moments determines the fate of the game. Likewise, a baseball player’s career is made up of hundreds, thousands, or, if you’re lucky and skilled, tens or hundreds of thousands of those moments.
Alex Gordon has enjoyed a quality baseball career in the 99th percentile of professional baseball players. The second overall pick in his draft, Kansas City fans gave Gordon a standing ovation in his first big league plate appearance. Over 14 years with the Royals, Gordon received MVP votes, was selected three times for the All-Star game, and has won seven Gold Glove awards. Gordon was an integral part to two AL Champion teams and helped win the Royals’ first World Series in 30 years. His career earnings are north of $117 million.
But despite the best and valiant efforts of the likes of Jamie Moyer, Ichiro, Bartolo Colon, and Omar Vizquel to convince us otherwise, Father Time is, as they say, undefeated. Baseball is physically and mentally demanding. To play it at the highest level for a decade or longer is an amazing feat. Every year players stretch deeper into their 30s, they lose more of the physical edge they once had when they were younger.
It is probably folly to determine one single instance in which Gordon’s decline from the mountaintop began. There are simply too many moments. Too many plate appearances. Too many swings. Too many fly balls hit to the outfield. Tens of thousands of moments, kernels of corn in a field of dreams.
But last night, there was one moment that stood out. One moment where the writing on the wall flickered in Royal blue. In the eighth inning, with the game on the line, manager Mike Matheny pinch Ryan McBroom, 28-year-old rookie, for the Great Gordon.
It worked. McBroom hit a game-tying home run.
The air in Gordon’s game has been deflating for five years. Between 2011 and 2015, Gordon hit .281/.359/.450, good for 21% above league average per OPS+. Fangraphs rated him at 24.1 Wins Above Replacement. But since 2016, Gordon’s batting line has cratered to .235/.318/.364, and he has hit 17% below league average with a WAR of 3.4 over that time.
Why has that happened? He’s slower. He has walked less. He can’t make the kind of contact he used to. And unlike in the previous two thirds of his career, defensive shifts have turned what were previously ground ball hits into ground ball outs at a much higher rate.
Gordon’s eye is still pretty good. His defense is still good, if not quite elite. But, as it is with any position player, if you can’t hit you can’t stay on the field. Gordon’s line now stands at .179/.258/.268, and he has been a replacement level player. He is simply not producing.
It is entirely possible that Gordon could improve. But it is not likely. Gordon’s bounceback 2019 campaign saw him produce at about a league average offensive level—until pitchers figured him out. Through July 30, Gordon had an OPS of .803. From then on, Gordon put up an OPS of .612. And over his last 249 plate appearances going back to last year, Gordon only has nine extra base hits.
Ultimately, though, the numbers are simply dressing. We can all see the extent to which Gordon is struggling at the plate like he never has before. McBroom’s pinch hit home run might not be anything special. Gordon could go on a tear and re-sign with the Royals next year. Anything is possible. It’s baseball.
But in a sport where symbolism helps us process the thousands of individual moments that happen on a baseball field, I’m struck by a particular moment that happened on an innocuous Tuesday evening between two teams that are unlikely to make even expanded playoffs. It seems like we’re seeing the beginning of the end for Alex Gordon. It’s been a good run. A great run. But all careers must come to a close. It’s just baseball.
Where does Alex Gordon rank overall for the Kansas City Royals?
So, where does Alex Gordon rank overall with for the Royals over their franchise history? Here is where he ranks in some specific categories:
- Games – sixth – 1,753
- Hits – sixth – 1,643
- Doubles – fifth – 357
- Home Runs – fourth – 190
- Runs Scored – sixth – 867
- Runs Batted In – sixth – 749
- Wins Above Replacement – fourth (hitters), eighth overall (all players) – 32.4
Obviously, Gordon is among the top five of six hitters in team history for accumulated stats. His defense pushes him a bit higher still. Two World Series appearances and a World Championship solidify his place in Royals’ history forever.
There may be some discussion on whether or not Gordon’s number should be retired by the franchise. Only George Brett, Frank White, and Dick Houser hold that distinction (as well as Jackie Robinson). The biggest argument against Gordon, in this case, is that Amos Otis’ number isn’t retired. Otis has a higher WAR (42.0) and ranks ahead of Gordon in several offensive categories.
Otis was a fine defensive player himself, earning three Gold Gloves of his own. In 22 postseason games, Otis far outperformed Gordon statistically, including a phenomenal slash line – .478/.538/.957/.1.495 in a losing effort in the 1980 World Series.
Still, Gordon has a ring and this unbelievable moment in the 2015 World Series, courtesy of MLB.com:
Recency bias may convince the Royals to retire Gordon’s number, and a strong argument can certainly be made to support that decision. It isn’t etched in stone that he is clearly the third-best player in franchise history, but his defense, loyalty, longevity, championship ring, and World Series heroics could push him to that status.
Without a doubt, he is a Royals’ great. However, there is always a tiny bit of doubt that he underachieved as a hitter based on his potential in college and the minors. That may be nit-picking just a little, but it is a legitimate argument against his number’s retirement, as is the fact Otis’ number isn’t retired.
Regardless, Alex Gordon will deservedly go down as one of the favorite players ever to don the Kansas City Royals’ uniform. Fans are going to miss him!
Q&A: Gordon talks about Nebraska roots
KANSAS CITY -- When you think of Nebraska native sports sons, you immediately think of one name: Alex Gordon, the Royals' All-Star and Gold Glove left fielder.
Gordon was born in Lincoln, Neb., grew up there and went to school at the University of Nebraska. He is Nebraska through and through.
So as the Royals and Tigers get set for Thursday night’s first-ever MLB game in nearby Omaha, MLB.com sat down with Gordon to talk about his beloved roots.
Question: How much family do you have left in Nebraska?
Gordon: My mom [Leslie] still lives there, my older brother [Eric] still lives there. And cousins.
Q: How many tickets have you had to request for Thursday’s game?
Gordon: Not that many yet. Obviously, my family is going and they haven’t asked yet. So I’ve only had a request for four -- for my uncle. I’m sure the requests are going to come a day or two before the game. I’m sure there’ll be plenty.
Q: When did you move to Leawood, Kan., from Lincoln?
Gordon: We moved here in 2007 after my rookie year and stayed in the offseason. Then in 2010, we started having kids and moved back near the grandparents in Lincoln, where we could get babysitters. And we stayed [in Lincoln] until after I signed back with the Royals [in 2016], and then we moved back [to Leawood] because we had to pick a full-time school for the kids.
Q: When you were growing up in Lincoln, how often did you visit Omaha?
Gordon: Growing up, I always watched the College World Series on TV, but I could never go because I was always playing summer baseball. My friends would go and would say how fun it was. We played in Omaha in summer baseball all the time. Then more toward my college years, I had friends on the team that were from Omaha and I would go hang with them there. But I was a Lincoln guy. Even though it was only 50-55 minutes away, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time there.”
Q: How would you describe life growing up in Lincoln?
Gordon: “I think the reason we like it so much in Leawood [and in Kansas City] is because it’s so similar to Lincoln. Obviously, it’s a bigger area than Lincoln and there’s more to do. But the people are pretty much the same. You know if you go to New York or Boston or the West Coast, it’s just a different feel. I don’t want to say anything bad about the West Coast or the East Coast, but I think my people are from this general area -- just maybe a lot nicer. It’s almost like we just changed places from Lincoln to a bigger place, but the people are the same. It’s the same feel.”
Q: How are Nebraska fans as sports fans?
Gordon: They’re crazy. Every night here I go out there at Kauffman Stadium and there’s a "Go Big Red" chant or something like that. They’re just all into their college sports because we don’t have a pro team, so that makes it really diehard. I think that makes it great because it’s all about the University of Nebraska. The fans, though, are really polite and supportive.”
Q: You still are extremely loyal to your alma mater. How often do you go to games?
Gordon: Oh, yeah. I go to less games now because we have kids and they obviously control your life. But for football games, we have a tailgate spot for football that I share with some buddies and we get together for that and reminisce about old times. So we do that a couple times a year. And I have season tickets for basketball that I share with my wife’s parents. We try to go to those as much as we can. I’d love to go to baseball games, but we just don’t have time.
Q: I read somewhere that if you ran for the governor of Nebraska, you’d win by a landslide. Governor Gordo?
Gordon: No, no. You wouldn’t want that. I’d tear that place apart. It just wouldn’t be good and I’ll leave it at that.
Q: When the day comes to retire, would you ever move back to Nebraska?
Gordon: No, we’re Kansas Citians. We’re established here now. And I’m always trying to recruit players here. I tried to get Hoch [Luke Hochevar] and [Jeremy] Guthrie to move here. I got Mitch Maier to move here. Now I’m working on Whit [Merrifield], maybe after he signs his next contract here. But we love it here. We’re not going anywhere.”
Yet given the brilliance of Bumgarner, wasn't taking that chance the Royals' only hope?
Yost: "No. I couldn't believe Bumgarner was still in the game. He'd thrown  pitches [three] days earlier, and there he is, in his fifth inning of relief. It was a miracle that he was still in there. I thought, 'We are going to get this guy.'"
Jirschele: "No, I didn't factor [Bumgarner] in. I was just reading the play. You have to ask yourself, 'Who is on deck?' I knew Salvy was on deck. I knew what he had done against Bumgarner in the Series."
Gordon: "You can't think who is on the mound in that situation. But I was one of the few that got a hit off a god of a pitcher in the postseason."
Crawford: "I'm sure that [Bumgarner] is the only reason why some people would even suggest sending him home in that situation. He was so dominant in the World Series, and in the whole postseason. Most people didn't think they could score off him. But they had a good hitter on deck with Perez. People forget about that. Hindsight is 20-20. If they had sent him, and he'd been out by 30 feet, it would have been a terrible call. But since Perez didn't get a hit, and we won the World Series, it was a bad call. But it wasn't. It was the right call. The only way it could have been a good call would be if I made a bad throw, or Buster would have missed it. And . "
Crawford didn't finish his sentence, but strongly hinted that neither of those would have happened.
Yet the irony is inescapable that Posey might have been involved in a collision at the plate, given that him being steamrolled at home plate by the Marlins' Scott Cousins in 2011 was the impetus for Major League Baseball changing the rule on home plate collisions.
"I joke around that with the controversy about collisions at the plate this year, what if that had happened in the final inning of the final game of the season?" Gordon said. "I'm not saying I would have run Buster over, but it would have been a great way to end the season if there had been a collision, and they had to enforce the collision rule there. Or, if they had to go to replay on a bang-bang play at the plate. It would have taken five minutes to hash that out. The anxiety in the ballpark at that time would have been out of control."
Alex Gordon could only walk off the field as the Giants celebrated their World Series title. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Alex Gordon: Our Favorite 'Bold Player' in Vanderbilt History
Vanderbilt basketball has seen a lot of bold players pass through its ranks. Clyde Lee was the first superstar to call Memorial Gym home. Will Perdue left his mark on campus by becoming Vandy's first and only Lottery pick. Matt Freije perfected the can't miss pick-up line "Hey. I'm Matt Freije. " But none of these players could live up to the boldness of a diminutive combo guard named "Red."
Alex Gordon invented the term "Swagger Guard" in his four years on campus. He exemplified the Commodore spirit that turned Vanderbilt from a SEC also-ran into a perennial contender. He yelled at players, coaches, fans, mascots, and referees. He shot threes without discretion and occasionally with his eyes closed. He once popped his jersey so hard after a dagger-shot that he ripped it right off his own back, then proceeded to dance with it like Rick Rude back in 1980s WWF.*
For all this, we loved him.
The six-foot tall (according to a generous Vandy media guide) guard came to the Commodores as a Rivals 150 recruit in an era where such players were rare for Kevin Stallings. As a freshman, he didn't disappoint. Only a few months into his NCAA career, Gordon poured in 30 points in his first home game against Tennessee. On that night, a monster was born.
Fans at Memorial Gym loved the speedy guard who could hit a shot from anywhere on the court. The freshman who had worked his way into a starting role was the wave of the future for the team, and the Vanderbilt faithful let him know it. Gordon loved the recognition from the Memorial Maniacs, and this admiration led down an entirely awesome path.
Like in pro wrestling, a new persona was born. Gordon was gone. Alex F-ing Gordon had arrived.
Gordon carried himself with the swagger that would drive the Commodores to new heights. Guys like Shan Foster, Derrick Byars, and A.J. Ogilvy may have gotten more publicity, but Gordon was the anchor that gave the team license to soar. His attitude fit perfectly amongst a team of players with something to prove. Guys like Foster, Byars, Ross Neltner, and Alan Metcalfe fed off his energy, which carried over to the home crowd.
This Red-generated current surged through Memorial Gym, giving the 'Dores the biggest home-court advantage in the SEC (though, as many will point out, our bench configuration helped as well). Two different #1 ranked teams fell in Nashville during Gordon's tenure. Kentucky once trailed 11-44 at the half to a similarly talented Commodore team. The team went 19-0 on the raised stage of Ingram Court in 2007-2008. In the midst of all this stood Alex Gordon, taking step-back threes early in the shot clock, then turning back down the court, grabbing his jersey, and screaming "I'M ALEX F-ING GORDON!"
He taught Jermaine Beal how to blow open a fast break with a dagger three. He drove into the lane with reckless abandon, daring players like Al Horford and Joakim Noah to block his lay-ups (full disclosure: they often did). He went hard in practice and made the players around him better. He made mistakes and was never a pure point guard. He was loud, obnoxious, and hated by opponents, but he was the blood that coursed through some of the best teams to ever play basketball in Memorial Gym.
My favorite Gordon moment came in my favorite Vanderbilt game of all time. Shan Foster's NBA Jam-esque three-point shooting rampage had kept the Commodores alive at Senior Night in 2008 - a game they needed to win to secure a perfect record at home. Despite trailing Mississippi State for most of the game (in front of a student section that was PACKED with MSU fans), Foster's scoring sent the game into overtime. The team trailed by two as the clocked ticked down, and Gordon had the ball.
Foster had commanded a double-team at the top of the key, so Gordon ran down the sideline, stopped, and squared to shoot. The Bulldogs' defense keyed on him, knowing that he was just insane enough to take the shot. A section of Vandy fans collectively gasped "Noooooo." Gordon rose into the air, lifted his arms - and then fired off a pass to a now-open Foster.
Shan Foster drained the three. The perfect home season intact. Senior Night was saved. All because everyone in the gym knew that Alex F-ing Gordon had the swagger to put up a game-winning three while being double-covered. When it came down to it, he did what it took to pull the Commodores to victory.
Alex Gordon - History
Land wars, looting, fighting, murder, hangings, beheadings, illegitimate births, divorces, adultery, feuds, alliances, royalty, poverty, fierce loyalty, deeply feared and dearly beloved, all have their place in our Gordon ancestry.
Our quest now is to figure out where we fit into this fractious family. It seems that there are actually two main branches of the Gordons that most of the history books are chronicling. Most histories agree on the beginning Gordon as Adam who had sons, Richard of Gordon and Adam of Huntley. Both lines continue down until the 1200's when Richard's daughter, Alicia, married Adam's son, Adam. The line follows with Adam who d. 1296 at Dunbar, then his son, Adam, had 2 sons, Adam and William. Adam's line went on to become the Ducal Gordon line and resided mainly in North Scotland, while William became William of Stitchel and resided mainly in theSouth of Scotland. This would have gone on well and good with the Gordon inheritance passing from father to son for centuries. BUT, it seems that Sir Adam's son, John had 2 sons, Sir John who d. in 1394 and Sir Adam who was killed at Homildon Hill in 1402. Sir John had never expected to inherit and so had married Elizabeth Cruikshank in a "handfasting" marriage and had 2 sons, John (Jock or Jack) and Thomas (Tam or Thom). When Sir Adam was killed he had only a daughter, Elizabeth, to inherit. She successfully challenged the old custom of only males inheriting and was helped greatly by the fact that Jock and Tam were product of a "handfasting marriage" which was beginning to be unacceptable for both church and law. She basically had them declared illegitimate!
Now, in order for her to inherit, she had to agree to marry a male of Gordon blood who would agree to carry the Gordon name for himself as well as his heirs. She wasted no time in marrying Alexander Seton of Winton, their line becoming the Seton-Gordons. We are fortunate to have a proven descendant of this line in our test group to validate our own testing. This family, while not as large in numbers as the family of Jock and Tam is just as prominent in our research of the ancestral Gordon lines.
Whether Jock and Tam were actually illegitimate is under great dispute. The most convincing evidence of their legitimacy is they carried his armorial bearing into battle, which was not done lightly and were at his side in all activities. Further, all their descendants carried the ancient Coat of Arms with no mark of illegitimacy. Therefore they probably were of a "handfasting" marriage, a custom which was accepted at that time.
Today, Jock and Tam's descendants greatly outnumber any other Gordon descendants in Scotland and Ireland. They are known to have settled in many areas where our testers from the Adam de Gordon group believe their ancestors lived. In fact, the testing proves that many of those early history researchers were right, but it also proves some were wrong. We need to carefully document our findings as now we have scientific proof to back us up.
So, how do we get all these names and variations of our DNA results? Just as we have seen in history throughout the times, land and power are the driving forces behind many marriages and alliances. Marriages were made and battles were won over land and property. Usually the name came from the place name, such as the Gight Gordons, or sometimes from a maiden name such as Sutherland Gordons. Also as in the Sutherland Gordons, the head of the family may demand that the subject family use the Gordon name and arms, which they did for 200 years until a Sutherland silenced the Huntley Gordon by using the argument that he should declare himself a Seton. From time to time, a son may decide to use his mother's name in order to inherit property that would have belonged to her family. There's also a little matter of earlier times when families were encouraged to take the name Gordon in order to expand their holdings. The "fee" for taking the Gordon name was a Bow a' Meal, hence the name Bow a' Meal Gordons. See, we have lots of avenues for our research!
I have charted out the Gordon lines for your use and would like anyone who has Gordon history books that can do look ups to let me know so that we can post them on the website.
Tentative Table Showing the Chief Branches of the Gordons in Northern Scotland
The Laird of Gordon
Tradition says he fell at the Battle of Standard, 1138
Alex Gordon leaves new mark in Royals history
KANSAS CITY, Mo. &mdash Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon set the club record for career hit by pitches with 79 when he was beaned in the seventh inning of the Royals&rsquo 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
With that plunk, Gordon passed former Royals catcher Mike MacFarlane for the franchise mark.
"It means a lot," Gordon said of the record. "I know MacFarlane, too, so I&rsquoll give him a hard time about that. But it does mean a lot. Anytime you can achieve something on a team that&rsquos all-time, that&rsquos pretty cool. I guess people don&rsquot like me, that&rsquos why they hit me.
"I try to get on base any way I can and whether it&rsquos wearing one on the back or the arm I&rsquom willing to do it."
Gordon has proved he is one of the toughest players in baseball, and he said some of his willingness to stay in the box and not duck out of the way from an incoming pitch began when he was in college.
"I&rsquom all about trying to get on base," Gordon said. "And if it&rsquos wearing a pitch, it is what it is. I kind of developed it out of Nebraska that we&rsquore not getting out of the way, especially with two strikes. We&rsquore just going to battle and try to find a way to get on and I think it&rsquos kind of carried on as a professional."
Gordon, who went 0 for 2 with the hit by pitch Thursday, is off to one of the worst starts of his career. He&rsquos batting just .188 with no homers and six RBIs. For what it&rsquos worth, Gordon has walked nine times, second on the team. Still, the Royals need Gordon to produce with the bat and he has shown some signs that he may be breaking out of his slump as he had two doubles and an RBI in the series.
"I&rsquom feeling better," Gordon said. "The last couple weeks I&rsquove been tinkering with things and trying to figure some things out &mdash just baseball stuff. Over the last couple days I&rsquove seen the ball better and felt a lot better and taking pitches that I need to take."
The Royals on Friday will begin a three-game weekend home series against Cleveland. The Royals will start right-hander Jason Hammel (0-3, 6.65 ERA) in the 7:15 p.m. series opener. He will be opposed by Danny Salazar (2-2, 4.34 ERA).
"Cleveland has a very good pitching staff and a great team," Gordon said. "They were in the World Series last year and are still playing well. So it&rsquos going to be a challenge this weekend but hopefully we can turn things around and get things rolling this weekend at home."