ST. LOUIS -- Brian Jordan finally got to enjoy the spotlight yesterday, the one he found here late Sunday night when his eighth-inning home run lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
But more of the questions were about the condition of Jordan's 2-year-old son, Bryson, than about his second game-winning home run in this year's playoffs. Jordan had left Busch Stadium quickly after the game when he learned that his son had fainted in a poorly ventilated room filled with other players' children.
"He's doing fine," said Jordan. "Basically, I had every test run on him last night. He just got overheated. It was hot in the kids' room. I don't know why they don't have air conditioning or a fan running in there. It was hot, and he had on a nice hot shirt to keep warm because it's getting cooler at night. He was running around and getting excited like everyone else. He just had a little fainting spell."
Jordan said that he found out about his son while on his way to do a post-game radio show with former Cardinal Mike Shannon. Jordan then saw his wife, Pam, holding Bryson in her arms. It was clear from the look of concern on his face that his thoughts were on his son and not on one of the team's most important victories in years, one that put the Cardinals ahead three games to one and on the brink of their first World Series appearance in nine years.
"I tell you, I already have my priorities straight," said Jordan, the former Milford Mill star from Randallstown. "God and family first. That just put it into more perspective there. The home run there was great and exciting, but if your family is affected, then you just forget about baseball. It was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. I just had to get my son and make sure he was OK."
Asked to describe his emotions, Jordan said: "I went from a high point to a low point. That was a scary moment for me. I love my kids [the Jordans also have a 4-year-old daughter, Brianna]. I love my family. When something like that happens, you just don't know what to expect. I'm just glad he's OK."
Jordan said that Bryson would be at last night's game, but would sit with his wife in the stands. Jordan's parents, Betty and Alvin, also were here for Games 3 and 4. It was the second time his parents had seen Jordan hit a game-winning home run. He hit a two-run shot in Game 3 of the Division Series against the San Diego Padres.
"Before he came up, I was getting a lot of negative vibes," Betty Jordan recalled Sunday night. "But the people around me kept telling me to stay positive. It was so exciting, even more exciting than the last one. I guess everyone got a little excited."
Brian Jordan said he knew his son was going to be all right when they took him to the hospital. After being a bit sluggish on the way to the hospital, Bryson Jordan seemed to perk up when a nurse drew blood from his finger. "He was having fun," said Brian Jordan. "Even when they stuck a needle in his finger, he was excited. That's when I knew everything was going to be OK."
And how were the parents?
"Mommy and Daddy were scared," Jordan joked.
Jordan, whose celebrity seems to be getting bigger by the day, was applauded by fans as he made his way out of the stadium Sunday night. Even at Cardinal Glennon Hospital, he was the center of attention.
"I tell you, I felt like I was Mr. Clinton and my wife was Mrs. Clinton," he said. "They had security guards blocking the rooms. It was wild. But the nurses were excited. They're all big Cardinal fans. The whole hospital was kind of pumped up."
JTC Pub Date: 10/15/96