Scott Gordon was inducted into the Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame during ceremonies January 10-11
By: Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND –Scott Gordon was inducted into the Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame at Cintas Center Friday, January 10. He was one of five outstanding athletes in the XU Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The class of 89 Baseball player was joined by basketball standouts Justin Doellman-07, Michael Hawkins -95, Soccer star Nick Hagglund -14, and Women’s Tennis star Katie Pleiman -13. Both Gordon and Pleiman also earned Academic All-American Honors as student-athletes while at Xavier. All five Hall of Fame inductees were also honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game versus Creighton on Saturday, January 11.
“It was a flood of emotions coming back,” Gordon said. “With the guys, it felt like being back home.”
Scott Gordon played baseball at Xavier University from 1985–1989. In his four-year college baseball career there, he compiled some pretty impressive statistics . . . as a baseball player, not just a pitcher, not just a hitter, not a position, simply a baseball player. His on-field
accomplishments during that 172 game collegiate baseball career as a Musketeer earned him selection to the Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Scott Gordon at bat during his Hall of Fame Baseball career at Xavier University (Photo: Courtesy X.U.)
“I’m a baseball player,” said Gordon. “I always felt baseball is hitting and pitching. Somebody asks what position do you play? I’m a baseball player; all of em, you know. It is hitting and pitching.”
Hayden Field is home to Xavier Baseball today as it was when Scott Gordon took the mound, or stepped into the batter’s box as a Musketeer. It must have been a comfortable home for the versatile player. He accumulated a career batting average of .327 in 172 games.
“Truth is, I was a good hitter and a good pitcher, but not so good on defense,” Gordon admitted. “They were just trying to hide me on the field. ‘Put him in the lineup, but find a spot where he can’t hurt us.’”
Most people around Loveland recognize Scott Gordon as owner of The Works Restaurant. You may not know his baseball story. Gordon is a humble man who doesn’t say much about his career in baseball. That humility says a lot about his character. His introduction at the induction ceremony said a lot about his college baseball career.
Highlights included a record eight saves his first season, six more his second season. His then-best 17 saves over his first three season’s still stands third best all time. He added a 6-5 record in 11 pitching starts compiling a 3.17 ERA with 10 complete games while playing in 56 of 57 games his
senior season. He took the field as a first baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter in the other 45 games batting .384, with 60 RBI’s and 48 walks helping lead the team to a then-school record 32 win season.
“If you listened, first-base, outfield, pitcher, DH,” he said, “that’s the whole thing. I was DH after I pitched, or a double-header I’d DH one and pitch the other game.”
] Hayden Field, Home to Xavier Musketeer Baseball on the campus of Xavier University since 1982 (Photo: Provided)
It’s not the whole thing. Gordon also excelled as a student. His classroom success earned him the Xavier University O’Connor Award as the top senior male athlete student that season. If that wasn’t enough, he drove the team van to Florida; drove to all the games.
“We always got lost, no GPS,” said Gordon. “I think having all my buddies telling all the stories, good thing we didn’t have cell phones; no cameras. Things were different back then.”
Of course big brother was watching, but in a different way. Gordon’s big brother Bill, just a couple years ahead of Scott, was a teammate on those Xavier teams. Not only that, but Bruce Gordon, Scott’s dad, was a hitting coach with the team. In fact, Gordon has always been known as L.B. for Little Brother. It is a nickname that stuck; one Scott Gordon wears with pride. By his own account, he always wanted to play on the same team with his big brother Bill.
Gordon chased his big brother all through their childhood years, but found his own stride during high school. He could throw hard and Coach Evans told him throw strikes and learn the curve later. He was recruited by “baseball factories” Florida State, Central Florida, all the SEC schools, but his mentality was Ivy League. A February Midwest winter trip to Northwestern was too cold for his taste.
“I chose X. I wanted to play close to home. I wanted friends and family to come,” Gordon explained. “Really, the choice was simple; stay home and play with Bill.”
Gordon shared a great story about how his brother Bill, playing center field, would shout “I want to see it, show me” then run off the field trusting Scott would throw the fastball by the hitter for the final out. He says he doesn’t remember ever getting burned on it. There was one time though; he threw a ball failing to retire the hitter. Big brother Bill was heard mumbling don’t you ever do that again as he returned to his position in centerfield. Hall of Fame weekend was an opportunity to recall more crazy tales.
Little Brother (LB) X.U. Baseball Hall of Famer is surrounded by Big Brother Bill Gordon and his Dad, “The Commish” Bruce Gordon during Hall of Fame weekend festivities at X.U. (Photo: Courtesy Scott Gordon)
“Anytime there was a rain delay, we did the ‘Muskie Bobsled’,” said Gordon. “It was on Channel 9 with John Popovich. This was during an Olympic year. I was brakeman for the U.S. Bobsled team. We put our helmets on backward to look like bobsledders. Other teams looked at us like a bunch of looney tunes.”
They practiced it. They rehearsed it. Lining up like a bobsled team and getting down on the ground rocking side to side as though they were sliding and steering their way down an icy bobsled track. The bigger the game, the weirder the antics. Coach hated the ‘Muskie Bobsled” but it was the year they set the win record. Then there was ‘Phantom Infield’ with the coach included.
“Coach would pretend to hit a ball, there was no baseball, we’d pretend to field it, throw it, turn perfect double plays,” Gordon said. “Half way through, the other team realizes we’re not using a baseball. They’re like what’s a matter with these guys? It was that kind of personality, those kinds of memories of playing with that group of guys.”
Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee (Baseball) Scott Gordon stands with his HOF name plaque (Photo:Courtesy Scott Gordon)
A phone call from X.U. Athletic Director Greg Christopher informed Gordon of his selection to the 2020 Hall of Fame Class a couple months before the official announcement. He wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until XU announced the full class of inductee’s.
“It didn’t really sink in,” said Gordon. “Not really, not until I started hearing from old teammates after the official announcement, then texts and calls came in. It fell into place, class of 2020 and I wore number 20.”
It was a special group of guys to Gordon. He compared the experience to getting back together with his Marine Corps brothers. His baseball teammates were brothers too. Good athletes who came together as 18 year olds going through the same thing just coming into manhood. Gordon lived out his boyhood dream of playing on the same team with his older brother. And they did it with their dad right there as a hitting coach.
Scott Gordon Xavier University Hall of Fame name plaque on display at XU. (Photo:Provided)
Induction into the Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame is testimony to Gordon’s college baseball career. It didn’t end there. He was drafted in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. When his baseball career ended, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps achieving the rank of Captain during service in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Gulf War during 1997.
At home in Loveland, Scott and his wife Jamie enjoy watching their daughter pursue her athletic dreams as an equestrian. During the weekend of January 10-11, he traveled back in time to Xavier Baseball with a special group of guys. Still, it was not about him, but everyone who was there, all those teammates, his big brother, and best of all, having his dad there for it.
“They were so happy,” he said. “It was an honor for that group of guys. We launched Xavier Baseball. It keeps getting better. I’m kind of a spokesperson for that group is kind of how I look at it. I can’t do it without them. I’m very glad my dad was there.”