Mike Ivie
First baseman
Born: (1952-08-08)August 8, 1952
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Died: July 21, 2023(2023-07-21) (aged 70)
North Augusta, South Carolina, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 4, 1971, for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB appearance
May 7, 1983, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.269
Home runs81
Runs batted in411

Michael Wilson Ivie (August 8, 1952 – July 21, 2023) was an American professional baseball player. He played as a first baseman in Major League Baseball for the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Detroit Tigers during his career from 1971 to 1983. The Padres chose Ivie with the first overall selection of the 1970 MLB draft.

Baseball career

Ivie was born August 8, 1952, in Atlanta, Georgia,[1] and attended Walker High School in Atlanta. Playing for the school's baseball team, he at one point hit 21 home runs in 21 games.[2]

The San Diego Padres selected Ivie with the first overall pick in the 1970 Major League Baseball draft as a catcher.[3] He signed with the Padres, receiving a $100,000 signing bonus,[4] and began his career in the Padres' minor league system. During his first minor league season, Ivie developed the yips, having trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher. He insisted that he was finished with catching.[5] He made his major league debut as an 18-year-old in September 1971.[6] Ivie developed a problem with his blood circulation in his left hand, which cemented his decision to stop catching. Ivie returned to the major leagues with the Padres in 1974 as a first baseman.[7]

During the 1978 offseason, the Padres traded Ivie to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Derrel Thomas.[8] Going into the 1980 season, Ivie was considered the Giants' successor at first base to Willie McCovey upon his retirement, but after an off-season accident with a hunting knife in which he sliced part of his fifth finger from his hand, he was unable to perform and became a bench player. He walked away from the team in June,[9] but received counseling and returned in July.[10][11] He played out the 1980 season, hitting four home runs. In 1981, Ivie lost the starting first base job to free agent Enos Cabell, acquired during the offseason.[12] The Giants traded Ivie to the Houston Astros for Dave Bergman and Jeffrey Leonard on April 20, 1981.[13] He asked for his release from the Astros during the 1982 season, which was granted.[14]

Ivie then called on Sparky Anderson, manager of the Detroit Tigers, and he was signed to play first base and designated hitter.[15] During the 1982 season, he hit 14 home runs. Ivie began the 1983 season as Detroit's starting first baseman, but was released by the Tigers in May.[16] Ivie sought to make a comeback and attended a tryout in September 1984 with the Atlanta Braves; they offered him a non-roster invitation to spring training with the team in 1985.[17] After the Braves would not guarantee him a roster spot, he opted not to attend.[18]

Personal life

After his release from the Tigers, Ivie opened a pro shop for hunting and fishing in Snellville, Georgia.[19] Ivie and his first wife had two sons. They divorced and Ivie remarried.[20]

Ivie died in North Augusta, South Carolina, on July 21, 2023, at age 70.[21]


  1. ^ "Michael Ivie Obituary – Posey Funeral Directors – North Augusta – 2023". Legacy.com.
  2. ^ "His Baseball Dream Was a Nightmare". The Miami Herald. July 2, 1980. p. 49. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Mike Ivie, Drafted No. 1, Eager to Sign With Padres". The Sentinel. Winston-Salem, N.C. June 5, 1970. p. 18. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Padres Give Rookie $100,000 Contract". The New York Times. June 9, 1970. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  5. ^ Newman, Bruce (July 28, 1980). "He Has Georgia On His Mind". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  6. ^ "Mike Ivie Is Bright Ray of Hope for Sand Diego". The Columbus Ledger. September 6, 1971. p. 17. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Padres' Puzzle". The Cincinnati Enquirer. September 10, 1974. p. 23. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Padres Trade Mike Ivie". Arizona Daily Sun. Flagstaff, Ariz. March 1, 1978. p. 9. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Giants' Ivie To Quit Baseball". The New York Times. June 26, 1980. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  10. ^ "Ivie of Giants To Rejoin Team". The New York Times. July 15, 1980. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  11. ^ "Ivie Takes a Giant Step Back to Baseball". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 20, 1980. p. 17. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "A Changed Ivie Accepts His Role". The Atlanta Constitution. April 18, 1981. p. 24. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Giants Trade Ivie to Astros for Two Players". The New York Times. April 21, 1981. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  14. ^ "Astros Release Ivie". The New York Times. April 30, 1982. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  15. ^ "Anderson Helps Ivie Feel at Home". The New York Times. July 31, 1982. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  16. ^ "Tigers Keep Fahey, Release Ivie". Detroit Free Press. May 17, 1983. p. 35. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Mike Ivie gets tryout with Braves". The Atlanta Journal. September 15, 1984. p. 33. Retrieved July 26, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Ivie Drops Plans to Join Braves in Spring Training". The Atlanta Journal. January 30, 1985. p. 65. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Mike Ivie Pursues Ambition No. 2". The Atlanta Constitution. September 28, 1983. p. 58. Retrieved July 30, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Ivie seeks to replant". The Atlanta Constitution. June 4, 2000. p. E2. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  21. ^ "Mike Ivie, former No. 1 overall draft pick of the Padres, dies at age 70". San Diego Union-Tribune. July 22, 2023. Retrieved July 23, 2023.