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Alex Gordon retiring from baseball after 14-year career as face of the Royals

Alex Gordon, Royals, MLB

Kansas City Royals lifer Alex Gordon will announce his retirement at the end of the season after 14 years with the franchise.

Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com was the first to report the news, and the Royals’ official Twitter account confirmed as much Thursday morning.

Gordon is unquestionably one of the best players in Royals history. He ranks eighth all-time among Royals players in wins above replacement, and has been the most valuable Kansas City player of this millennium.

The Royals made Gordon the second overall pick in the 2005 June MLB Amateur Draft. He made it to the majors by 2007.

Gordon was almost instantly installed as one of the team’s starting outfielders and—after a couple injury-riddled seasons in 2009 and 2010—had one of the best seasons of his career in 2011. He hit .303 with a career-high .879 OPS and 23 homers while winning the first Gold Glove of his career.

Excellent defense was a staple of Gordon’s career: he won seven Gold Gloves in his career, including four straight between 2011 and 2014.

Gordon was re-signed last fall by the Royals for one last go-around the diamond.

Of course, Gordon also starred for perhaps the most famous team in franchise history.

The Royals came up just short in the 2014 World Series, losing to the San Francisco Giants in seven games thanks in part to a historic series from Madison Bumgarner.

But the Royals would not be denied in 2015. Kansas City defeated the New York Mets in five games, and Gordon might have had the most pivotal hit of the series when he homered off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to tie the game in the ninth inning.

The homer changed the tide, as the Royals went on to win Game 1 and take control of the series.

Gordon will hang up the spikes after this season, but he will never be forgotten as a franchise icon in Kansas City.