KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Rain delays and positioning in the final AL Central standings weren't even tangentially the focal point of Sunday's season finale for the Kansas City Royals. The day's purpose was to provide a final moment, a formal sendoff, for franchise cornerstone and regional folk hero.
A 14-year major-league career that began with an ovation from the home crowd before his first plate appearance ended in front of no fans - other than members of Gordon's family, who watched from a Kauffman Stadium suite - and a lot of heartfelt hugs from teammates and coaches Sunday afternoon.
Here is the moment Royals' Alex Gordon left the field for the final time
The day included the playing of a video highlighting many of the great moments of Gordon's career.
"It really didn't hit me until this morning," Gordon told Fox Sports Kansas City's Joel Goldberg after the game. "I was just trying to grind out the season ... I knew it was coming. I wasn't trying to look ahead, but then this morning it got to me.
"Emotions definitely ran a little high ... the video of all my past teammates and coaches just got to me."
Gordon tipped his cap to the Royals' fans, even though they couldn't attend his final game, saying, "I'll never forget them, '14 and '15, the way we pulled together."
Adalberto Mondesi and Ryan McBroom hit solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, and Mondesi added an RBI double in the eighth as the Royals closed their season with a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.
The Royals finished the pandemic-shortened season with a record of 26-34. For teams that qualified, the next stop is the playoffs.