Saturday, March 19, 2011
Mike Bordick, 2001 Fleer Showcase #51
In 1996, Cal Ripken, Jr. had balked when Davey Johnson flirted with moving him from short to third base. As much as anything, his recalcitrance had a lot to do with the player who would be replacing him. That year, the only other shortstops on the roster were utility player Jeff Huson and failed prospect Manny Alexander. But when the Orioles signed Mike Bordick away from Oakland as a free agent, Cal recognized his new teammate's talents as a shortstop and finally moved off of the position that he had manned for 15 memorable seasons.
Bordick was known as a defensive-first shortstop, and he certainly lived up to his billing. He led the American League in total zone runs in 1997 and 2002, and ranked in the top three in 1998 and 1999. He led in assists in 1998 and 1999, led in range factor in 2002, and led in fielding percentage in 1999 and 2002. In 2002, the 36-year-old committed a single error in 570 chances for a sterling .998 fielding percentage. He set single-season fielding records at his position for fewest errors, highest fielding percentage, consecutive errorless games (110) and consecutive errorless chances (543). Of course, he was at least competent with the bat. He slugged over .400 three times with the O's, and had a career year in 2000: .297/.350/.481 in 100 games before the Mets trade, with 22 doubles, 16 home runs, and 59 RBI. That summer he made his only All-Star team.
As mentioned previously, Bordy is back in the Baltimore organization as a minor league instructor, and is one of several ex-players in camp at the Sarasota facility. So everything is comin' up Bordick.