Monday, June 21, 2010

#289 Gordy Coleman

#289 Gordy Coleman

I can say without hyperbole that Gordy Coleman is the most accomplished player named "Gordy" in major league history. The only other Gordy was infielder Gordy Lund, who played just 23 games in the late 1960s.

Fun facts about Gordy Coleman:

-Born in Rockville, MD, Gordy signed with the Indians as a teenager in 1953.

-In 1959, he took the AA Southern Association Triple Crown with a .353 average, 30 homers, and 110 RBI.

-Made the most of a September 1959 callup, hitting 8-for-15 (.553). He tripled off of Kansas City's Bob Grim in his first career at-bat.

-Traded to the Reds in an offseason deal that sent All-Star second baseman Johnny Temple to Cleveland, Gordy spent the first half of 1960 in the minors before being recalled in late July. He hit .271 with 32 RBI in 66 games in Cincy and was in the majors to stay.

-Tabbed as the team's starting first baseman in 1961, the 26-year-old batted .287 with 27 doubles and was the Reds' second-best producer with 26 homers and 87 RBI.

-His two-run homer off of Ralph Terry gave Cincinnati the lead in the fourth inning of Game Two of the '61 World Series. They would win the game 6-2, their only victory in that year's Fall Classic.

-Hit a career-best 28 home runs the next season and drove in 86.

-By the middle of the decade, Tony Perez had supplanted him at first base. Gordy still provided some pop for the Reds, particularly in his 1965 season (.302, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 19 2B in 108 games).

-His final big league exposure came in a four-game stint in 1967. In parts of nine seasons, he hit .273 with 98 home runs and 387 RBI.

-Gordy was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1972. In the early 1990s, he provided color commentary on Reds game broadcasts, up until his untimely death at age 59 in 1994.
#289 Gordy Coleman (back)

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