FORT MYERS, Fla. – Nick Gordon has heard his brother, two-time All-Star Dee Gordon, tell the story before. But he doesn’t like to bring it up.
“I can talk to him about anything,” the 2014 Twins first-round draft pick said, “but I like to see my brother smile.”
The emotions are quite different when Dee Gordon opens up about the death of his mother, DeVona Strange, who was shot by her boyfriend when Dee was 7. The Mariners infielder relived the tragedy last week for a story by the website Bleacher Report, and Nick Gordon said he understands why he did.
“It’s definitely hard for him. But he wants to help people,” Nick Gordon said. “He’s a loving and caring person, so he wants the world to hear that he’s there for victims. That they’re not alone.”
Nick and Dee are technically half-brothers, the sons of former major league pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon by different mothers, and Nick hadn’t even been born when Strange was killed, shattering Dee’s world.
In Nick’s memory, Dee was always a part of the household. “I mean, that’s my brother,” Nick said. “He’s not a half-brother to me, or a stepbrother, he’s my brother. And has been all my life.”
Which is why, he said, he feels special pride when he sees Dee use his public platform to call attention to domestic violence — the victims, not the perpetrators.
“It was such a hard thing to go through, but it definitely helps him now to go through life,” Nick Gordon said. “He knows his mama is looking down on him and he’s making her proud.”
Nick Gordon, a 23-year-old shortstop, was the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Olympia High School in Orlando and has worked his way up the Twins system over the past four years. He hit .333 in 42 games at Class AA Chattanooga last year, but only .212 in 99 games at Class AAA Rochester.