Jul 21, 2016

2000 NL Champion Mets Short Stop: Mike Bordick (2000)

Michael Todd Bordick was born July 21, 1965 in Marquette Michigan. His father was in the Air Force & the Bordick family moved around during Mike’s youth. They went from Michigan to upstate New York, finally settling in Maine.

Bordick attended the University of Maine, playing for the school’s team, the Black Bears. He signed with the Oakland A’s in 1986 spending four seasons in the minor leagues.

He came up with the 1990 A.L. Champion Athletics, eventually taking over the shortstop position from Walt Weis. He spent the next seven years in Oakland as their main shortstop hitting .300 in 1992 with 151 hits 19 doubles 48 RBIs & 62 runs scored. In the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays he only hit .053 going 1-19 in six games. During those years with the Athletics he twice led the league in put outs, once in games played & assists. He was a consistent player and very solid defensively, always among the tops in the league at shortstop in fielding.

In 1996 he signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles, taking over at short stop when Cal Ripken moved over to third base. Bordick played in Camden Yards as the main short stop for six seasons, getting to the post season in 1997. As the league’s hitting numbers increased in the late nineties so did Bordick’s. He would hit 13 HRs in 1998 while leading the league in sacrifice hits with 15.

In 1999 he hit 35 doubles with 77 RBIs having career highs in hits (175) & runs scored (93). That season he also led all AL shortstops in fielding & assists. He also was in the top ten of getting hit by pitches three times, doing it 227 times in his career (#67 all time). He had his best season in 2000 with career highs in HRs (20) RBIs (80) making his only All Star team, batting .285 with 30 doubles.

That summer, the Mets lost short their stop Rey Ordonez for the remainder of the season & had to make a move. Ordonez was an excellent fielder but was only batting .188 at the time he went down. The only other short stop on the club at the time was the little used Kurt Abbott & the team was not confident enough in him to take over the role. Melvin Mora was still being used as an outfielder at the time. On July 28th they traded Melvin Mora, Mike Kinkade, Leslie Brea & minor leaguer Mike Kinkade to the Orioles in exchange for Bordick for the stretch run.

It was a good move for the Mets, receiving a solid defensive veteran player who was also hitting well to fill the gap, even though it was just for the season. Mike Bordick debuted as a Met on Junly 29th at Shea Stadium in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. In his first Mets at bat he hit a solo HR off Andy Benes tying up the game, welcome to New York Mike Bordick. The Mets went on to 3-2 win. On August 1st he singled to drive in a run in the 6th inning, the run turned out to be the game winner in the Mets 3-2 win & the eleventh victory of the year for Mike Hampton.

Bordick contributed to the Mets Wild Card chase with three HRs & 11 RBIs in the month of August keeping his average at .300. His average tailed off in September but he finished the year at .285. On the last day of the regular season he had two RBI singles leading the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Expos. Bordick batted .260 with 4 HRs 8 doubles 18 runs scored & 21 RBIs in 56 games for the 2000 NL Champion Mets.

Post Season: In the post season, he was 4-33 (.123), never hitting above .200 in any of the three Series. In the Division series against the San Francisco Giants he scored a run in each of the first three games, twice on hits by Timo Perez.

The following season he went back to Baltimore, signing as a free agent. Bordick played two more seasons in Baltimore having his best defensive season in 2002, when he set the MLB records for fielding% (.998%), fewest errors (one), consecutive errorless games (110) and consecutive errorless chances (543). He closed out his career in Toronto hitting .274 in 103 games in 2003.

In a 13 year career Bordick played in 1720 games hitting .260 with 1500 hits 257 doubles 30 triples 91 HRs 676 runs scored & 626 RBIs. Defensively he made 128 errors with 2606 put outs (64th all time) 4410 assists (65th all time) with a .982 fielding %.

Retirement: In 2005 he was invited to the White House to honor the Little League Champions from Toms River, NJ. Bordick has worked as a minor league instructor for the Blue Jays & Orioles since his playing days. In2011 he was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame.

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