Jordan, Gren (1995)
Gren Jordan was one of the premier pitchers in Maine baseball during the 1930's and early 1940's. The tall and lanky Jordan possessed a blazing fastball and a wicked curveball, according
to those who faced him. Cape Elizabeth baseball coaches were quick to recognize Gren's talents as a pitcher. He began his career as a sixth grader pitching for the eighth grade. Before it was over, he would go on to lead clubs from Cape Elizabeth High School, the Cape Athletic Association, and numerous other semi-pro teams to league and state championships. His numerous no-hit, one-hit, and two-hit games in the leagues he pitched in serve as reminders of his pitching dominance.
While pitching for Cape Elizabeth High School in the early 1930's the Portland Press Herald called his pitching "phenomenal" and suggested he was the best schoolboy pitcher in the state. The Triple-C Championship match-ups between Cape High teams and Rupe Johnson's Standish High nine are legendary battles. One such game featured a 3-2 Cape victory with Jordan besting Lefty Libby of Standish. Both pitchers struck out 13 batters. Showing his talent was not limited to pitching alone, Gren's game included a couple key fielding plays and the game winning hit! After high school, Jordan's pitching was in great demand by the semi-pro teams of the time. Gren's first loyalty was to his hometown club, the Cape AA. The Capers barnstormed throughout the state , winning the State amateur championship many times. Indicative of his success at this level, Gren was named the outstanding pitcher in the Twilight League in 1935. Other teams benefiting from his pitching talents included the Portland Pilots, Portland Boys Club, Fro-joy Ice Cream, and Titus Drug.
The highlight of his career may well have been the game he pitched against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the old Bayside Park. After the game he was invited to play for the Pirates’ New York State team. The times were tough and Gren was needed on his Uncle's dairy farm; he turned down the offer.
During WWII Gren worked at the South Portland shipyard helping to turn out the much-needed Liberty snips. Later years saw the creation of a very successful career in the construction of new homes and other real estate development. Gren is still Known to work at a pace that tires men less than half his age. He now lives in Scarborough with wife Lydia, daughter Pam, and granddaughter Amy.
A newspaper account of a Jordan no-hitter in 1936 proved prophetic.
After a Jordan no-hitter against Thornton Heights, where Gren came within one base on balls of pitching a perfect game the paper wrote, "Gren Jordan wrote his name in the pitchers hall of fame Sunday..." Tonight after 59 years we make it official.