Baseball reunion: Seattle Pacific alumni return to share All-Star lives
The wait for baseball’s spring training season is nearly over. For thousands of Seattle Mariners fans, the time to stop dreaming and start swinging can’t come soon enough.
But for Gordy Hansen, Seattle Pacific class of 1969, the first crack of the bat was heard on February 3rd, at the 2018 Homecoming Baseball Reunion when a dozen former Seattle Pacific University players and two of their coaches gathered to recall the glory days of Falcon baseball.
“It has been on my heart to do this for a while,” says Gordy, an English major with teacher certification, former Falcon outfielder, and member of the 1968 Seattle Pacific team that took second place in the NCAA regionals. “We had such good players, guys of good character, who represent Falcon history well.”
When he heard of fellow player Robert E. Lee’s death in 2014 (his teammates called him “the general”), Gordy felt the urgency to organize a reunion of Falcon baseball players and coaches. He had a list of 60-plus names to work from and reached about half of them. He netted 12 former players, two coaches, and 10 wives or other family members. “The reunion was a wonderful time,” he says, “and it was especially inspiring to honor our coaches, Dale Parker (1952-56, 1962-67) and Lorin Miller (1967-69).”
Coach Parker recently celebrated his 93rd birthday. Coach Miller, 82, made the journey from his home in Oklahoma. It was he who in 1967 brought the team into its first national ranking (13th) by the collegiate baseball poll.
Left fielder Larry Quesnell ‘70
, became a dentist. Others, like Gordy, became educators — teachers, coaches, school administrators. Center fielder Rick Marquardt ’67 was an oncology physician in Washington’s Tri-Cities area for three decades. Because his career path was plain to see, his teammates called him “Doc.” Doc was one of the most inspiring players in Falcon baseball. Despite a congenitally-deformed arm, he was second to none in both throwing and fielding with the same arm, and as a hitter. In his senior year, he captained the team.
Gordy — English teacher, coach of baseball and basketball, principal and assistant school district superintendent — will never forget how Seattle Pacific challenged him to have an impact on youth in his life’s work. “My professors were great,” he says. “They taught me to be a change agent in the world. I dealt with thousands of students in my career, helped them through conflict resolution, and helped their families work through challenges. I combined my work with faith in my good Lord to be a positive influence in the classroom.”
To say that the Hansen household bled baseball is no exaggeration. Two of Gordy’s three sons played pro-ball and between them wore the uniforms of the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, and the San Francisco Giants. Little wonder that one of Gordy’s most apt sayings in summarizing the ups and downs of life is “that’s the way the ball bounces.”
Set to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary in June with “loving, supportive” wife Mary, Gordy is planning a celebration in three phases. The exact details remain under wraps.
His favorite stat? Judging from his satisfaction in sharing it, it might well be that the Hansens have a combined 19 grand- and great-grandchildren. Just a few more and they will have completed a Major League active team roster of 25 players.