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MLB hiring former pitcher turned secret service agent as new security chief

Oct 12, 2011, 1:18 PM EDT

bill bordley

MLB will soon hire former secret service agent Bill Bordley as its new chief of security, according to Buster Olney of

Before joining the secret service Bordley was a left-handed pitcher who appeared in eight games for the Giants as a 22-year-old in 1980, throwing 31 innings with a 4.70 ERA despite a ghastly 11/21 K/BB ratio.

I stumbled across a Los Angeles Times article from 1988 that describes how Bordley went from starring at USC to dropping out of school and getting into a weird situation in the draft:

Bordley wanted to stay close to home, and the Cincinnati Reds had the first pick. The Angels had the third pick. So Bordley wrote letters to the teams with the top picks, and even met with representatives of the Reds. When he told them he wanted $200,000 and an immediate major league contract, Bordley says, the Reds–who were stripping their star-studded roster–blanched and said they weren’t interested anyway. The Angels were ready to accommodate him.

Come draft day, the Reds selected Bordley. And Bordley said no way. The two sides met. Bordley said he would go back to USC before signing with Cincinnati. He said their reply was a nasty “Have fun in school,” and they walked out. But as Bordley was prepared to enroll at USC again, baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn called and told him to await an announcement. A few days later Kuhn, mindful of Bordley’s special circumstances, voided the Reds’ selection, fined the Angels for tampering and told Bordley to list five teams he would be willing to play for. Those names were placed in a hat, and the winner was the San Francisco Giants.

Elbow problems derailed his pitching career, so he went back to school and later applied for the secret service. And now 30 years later he’s back in baseball.

  1. agelardi - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Wanting to close to home is considered special circumstances?

  2. Brian Donohue - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    have fun at work, too — make everybody wonder what you’re up to…

  3. spudchukar - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    I remember him, he had a “sneaky” fastball and “palm” ball that was killer.

  4. halladaysbiceps - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Would this guy take a bullet for Selig?

  5. jwbiii - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Dammit! I was trying to remember this guy’s name when there was a post a few days ago that included the line “not many ballplayers have automatic weapons and helicopters.” I remembered the story but not the name.

  6. tuftsb - Oct 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Aaron – the Bill Bordley story gets better (self promotion alert, as I played with and roomed with Bill), as he was interviewed as part of the Starr Report.

    “On another occasion, Officer William Bordley stopped (Monica) Lewinsky because she had no pass. The President opened the Oval Office door and ushered her in.”

  7. cur68 - Oct 12, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    This is long over due by MLB. This guy’s first order of business is overall assessment of fan safety at all MLB venues. Number 1 venue to start with? Chavez Ravine.

    Each security staff & stadium should be issues with a public report card. An excellent staff in a difficult to secure park, vs lousy staff in an easy park; think about it stat geeks, ball park security WAR (SAR, I guess & fSAR). An element of competition between security organizations would only improve things.

    He should also be granted veto powers. No head of security gets hired without this guy saying its cool. Keeps the various biker gangs out of the mix.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 12, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      Security is run by the people who own the ballpark, and not necessarily the team. The MLB Head of Security works with the local security force to ensure safety of the players, on-field issues, and general safety issues for MLB. They have no say on who the owner of the facility hires, and shouldn’t.

      For example, Kaufmann Stadium is owned by Johnson County, and not the Royals. The Royals lease the stadium. MLB has no more right to tell Johnson County who to hire as head of their security than you do.

      I don’t know how many stadiums any more are privately owned, or owned by the teams, but it doesn’t matter. If MLB takes over the right to approve the hiring of employees of the team, where the stadium is team-owned, then that also gives them right to make decisions on other employees, such as managers, GM, coaches, etc.

      That ain’t happening. The teams are privately owned, as part of an association of teams. Would you let your housing association tell you who you can let mow your lawn?

      • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 12, 2011 at 5:37 PM

        As far as security outside the stadium, that is up to the grounds outside the stadium.

        Kaufmann Stadiium, as I said, is owned by the county. Secruity outside the stadium is out to the local police and sherrifs office, not stadiium security.

        Safeco and Coors are on city streets. Anything outside the stadium is up to the local police, not stadium security.

        Ever wonder why they have all those cops outside directing traffic after games?

  8. tuftsb - Oct 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    The only way ballpark secuirty will work is:

    1) fans don’t drink before, during and after games around the site
    2) nothing and I mean nothing, is allowed inside the parks at the gates
    3) Homeland security type powers are given to eject fans during games
    4) fans that run on the field spend a minimum of 7 days in jail (after being tasrred, of course)
    5) violators of any rules lose season tickets with no refunds

    Beyond that, leaving the park will still be a mess without klieg lights and storm troopers dealing with 40,000 people.

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