In Memoriam: Dr. James D. Gordon

We are saddened to note the passing of SABR member James David Gordon, 71, after a long, courageous battle with metastatic colon cancer on July 25, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. He joined SABR since 2002, was active in the Los Angeles-based Allan Roth Chapter, and co-chair of SABR’s Ballparks Research Committee.

Jim was the beloved husband of Sheila, devoted father of Judy (Barry) Posner and David (Anne) Gordon, outstanding grandfather of Jacob and Audrey Posner and Jeremy and Danielle Gordon. He is predeceased by his loving parents, Ann and Sidney Gordon.

Jim was born December 22, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, arriving two weeks early, as his mother said, because she was anxious about the war and the attack on Pearl Harbor. His family moved to Los Angeles in January 1943, after he had just turned 1 year old, and settled in Westwood, where he grew up and attended local elementary and junior high schools and University High School.

Living in Westwood put him close to UCLA and set in motion his devotion to the school. He received his Bachelor of Science, Master’s and Ph.D. in engineering from UCLA. He worked as an aerospace engineer for 35 years at TRW, where he designed satellites, working to improve the field of science and technology, which he loved deeply.

Jim was an avid sports fan and loved UCLA athletics and professional baseball, especially the Dodgers. He analyzed statistics of everything, kept score at every game and cheered until he lost his voice, even if that meant telling a referee or umpire what he felt about a call. He visited almost every Major League Baseball park (old and new) and considered attending UCLA sporting events as major occasions. He participated in many activities at UCLA, including recently chairing the selection committee for the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.

He also loved collecting coins, stamps and baseball memorabilia and participating in baseball organizations. He spent his retirement years traveling with Sheila and rooting for his grandchildren at their special events. Jim will be deeply missed by his friends and family, but in their hearts forever.

Services for Jim were held July 28 at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to benefit the UCLA Athletics Department. Contributions may be made to “The UCLA Foundation” at UCLA Athletics, Attn: Emily Lerner, P.O. Box 24044, Los Angeles, CA 90024-0044.


Originally published: August 5, 2014. Last Updated: August 5, 2014.