Mike Bordick is among six television and radio broadcasters who were let go after last season by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Old Town native Gary Thorne also was not retained.
That isn’t stopping the former Winterport resident and University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame shortstop, who spent 14 seasons in the major leagues, from doing TV this season.
Along with other friends from MASN, the 55-year-old Bordick has developed a 40-minute television show that focuses on baseball. The Hampden Academy graduate hopes to sell the concept to a network.
“I worked with so many incredibly creative people at MASN and this is something we talked about for a long time,” Bordick said. “We want to promote the game.”
The pilot includes an interview with National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and MASN color commentator Jim Palmer and a segment with Spencer Horwitz, a minor-leaguer from Timonium, Maryland, who played ball in 2019 but sat out last season due to the coronavirus and has just reported to spring training.
Bordick also spoke with parents of a recreational league baseball team, who discussed how important it is for their children to have a chance to play after COVID-19 has disrupted sports.
In his personal segment, “Rocks to Pearls,” Bordick talks about his path to the major leagues and he offers tips on baseball videos sent in by viewers.
“There are a lot of interesting stories out there,” said Bordick, who in 2002 with Baltimore set major league fielding records among shortstops for best fielding percentage (.998), fewest errors (1), most consecutive games without an error (110) and most chances without an error (543).
His career .982 fielding percentage ranks third among shortstops with at least 1,000 games played. The 2000 American League Al-Star, who played 1,720 regular-season games, was a career .260 hitter.
Bordick, a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame, said he feels strongly about the need to find safe ways to have sports for the mental health of children.
He fears there will be negative ramifications for kids who miss sports seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The importance of sports and the foundation they provide for a healthy, productive life is overlooked. Sports teach them so many things like discipline, sportsmanship, teamwork, responsibility, setting goals and how to be a good teammate,” Bordick said. “Those have to be reinforced now, more than ever.”
He said the key is that youngsters have the opportunity to get out and play.
Bordick knows baseball and other sports can make a difference in a kid’s life path.
“You see their vulnerability when things happen to them along the way. A lot of times, they are at a crossroads and it’s a matter of how they handle it,” he said. “It’s important to get the right people around them to help them make the right decision.”
Matt Morris, who owns the Baseball Warehouse in Owings Mills, Maryland, funded Bordick’s pilot. Bordick is a featured instructor at the facility, which provides one-on-one baseball instruction, coaching clinics, camps and college placement.
Bordick is best known in baseball as the man who replaced ironman Cal Ripken Jr., a future Hall of Famer, at shortstop when Ripken was moved to third base. He also is busy as the chairman of the board of directors for A League of Dreams Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for special needs children to play baseball and softball.
Frank Kolarek, the father of major league pitcher Adam Kolarek, is the League of Dreams CEO.
“It is an incredible organization,” Bordick said of seeing the joy on the faces of the children.
The former Orioles coach said he enjoyed his time from 2012-20 as an analyst at MASN and is grateful for the opportunity. But he is staying busy.
He and wife Monica have six children. The two youngest sons, 18-year-old Wyatt and Colton, 14, share their father’s passion for baseball.
Bordick, who got his big break in 1986 when the Oakland Athletics signed him to a free-agent contract, aspires to write a book about growing up in an Air Force family.