||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
December 13, 1967 |
|May 8, 1994, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 21, 2005, for the Florida Marlins|
|Runs batted in||132|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael Howard Mordecai (born December 13, 1967) is a right-handed hitting/throwing infielder in Major League Baseball who most recently played for the Florida Marlins. He is now in charge of all Minor League instruction for the Toronto Blue Jays.
School and minor leagues
Mordecai graduated from Hewitt-Trussville High School, Trussville, Alabama in 1986 where he played baseball, basketball and football. During his time in college at the University of South Alabama, he was a two-time All-American and named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team each year. In 1987, he helped the Jaguars to the conference title. Mordecai majored in criminal justice and minored in sociology.
With their sixth round selection of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft, the Atlanta Braves drafted Mordecai. He began his minor league career at Class A Burlington and eventually worked his way up to Greenville. In 1992, he made his way to AAA Richmond on June 19. In 1993, he was selected as Richmond's Most Competitive Player. He played every defensive position with the exception of center field and pitcher that season.
Atlanta and a championship
In 1994, Mordecai made it to the majors but only for four at bats. His first tour was from May 3–20 for the Atlanta Braves, when he replaced Jeff Blauser on the roster. Mordecai's first hit was a three-run home run in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. Mordecai continued to torment the Phillies throughout his career. He received the John M. Zwack III Memorial Award for being the most community-minded player.
Mordecai played on the 1995 World Series team as a bench player. He made his first start at second on July 16 at San Diego. In the NLDS he went 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI. His pinch-hit single in the ninth inning of Game 2 gave the Braves the go-ahead run. In the World Series, he went 1-for-3.
Unfortunately for Mordecai, the Braves had Mark Lemke at second base, Chipper Jones at third and Fred McGriff at first preventing him from getting more than a reserve role with the team. Mordecai was the Braves' starting third baseman on opening day 1996, though only because Chipper Jones was on the DL with an injury. On August 30, he collected the first three-hit game of his career at Chicago.
Mordecai's inability to stay consistent while a member of the Braves frustrated the front office and, in 1998, he joined the Montreal Expos. Mordecai made 53 starts the next year. He then enjoyed his best seasons there in 2000 and 2001. On April 2, 2001, Mordecai demonstrated his versatility by playing catcher in the tenth inning of a game against the Cubs after Montreal's first catcher, Michael Barrett, was ejected and their second catcher, Sandy Martínez, was injured.
Florida and another championship
In the midst of the 2002 trade deadline he was traded to the Florida Marlins. His statistics for the season drastically improved after the trade. The following season, he was again a key part in helping the inexperienced Marlins win the 2003 World Series. In Game 6 of the NLCS, the Marlins were five outs away from being eliminated when Cubs fan, Steve Bartman, prevented a foul ball from being an out by extending his arms over Moisés Alou while Alou attempted to field the pop-up. Mordecai's consequent three-run double blew the game open highlighting the Cubs' subsequent historic collapse in what is sometimes referred to as simply "The Inning".
On June 1, 2004, Mordecai again filled the role as emergency catcher, this time for eight innings after Ramón Castro was injured.
Mordecai took a job as manager with the Marlins minor league affiliate Jamestown Jammers in December 2004. A few days later, the team announced that they would give him a chance to join the team in September so he could reach ten years of Major League service; Mordecai played two games in 2005 before retiring for good. Mordecai also worked as a batting coach for MLB before turning to coaching for a private High School in Dothan, Alabama. The school is Dothan is Houston Academy. His last high school game was against the Leroy Bears on the road in the first round of the Alabama State High School Playoffs in 2009.
Mordecai was married on February 5, 2000, to his second wife, Jennifer. Later that year, she gave birth to the first of their two sons. He also has a daughter, born in 1995, from a first marriage.
- Walker, Ben (5 October 1995). "Second Day Of Playoffs Produces End-to-end Home Runs". Daily News. p. 9A. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Mike Mordecai: Behind the Dugout