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Sports birthday

Feb. 18, 1915

Joe Gordon

(died April 14, 1978)

Gordon, from Jefferson High and the University of Oregon, ranks as one of the greatest baseball players and athletes from the state.

He was born on Feb. 18, 1915 in Los Angeles, but the family moved to Portland, where he starred for Jefferson.

At the U of O, he led the Ducks to back-to-back Pacific Coast Conference Northern Division baseball flags in 1934 and 1935. He also was a halfback in football, competed in gymnastics and soccer and track and field — even played the violin in the school orchestra.

The 5-10, 180-pounder succeeded Tony Lazzeri as the New York Yankees' second baseman. He played in the majors, with the Yankees and Cleveland Indians, from 1938-50. He was named to nine All-Star Games and took part in five World Series.

He went to manage at Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City.

Nicknamed "Flash" after the comic book character Flash Gordon, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

He also joined the UO Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992.