Former Padres and SF Giants infielder Mike Ivie passes away at 70

Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

Former Padres and SF Giants infielder Mike Ivie passed away over the weekend. He was just 70 years old.

Former Padres and SF Giants infielder Mike Ivie passes away at 70

Ivie was selected with the first overall pick by the Padres in the 1970 draft out of Walker High School in Atlanta, Georgia. The right-handed bat made a rapid ascent up the minor-league ladder, debuting for the Padres as a 19-year-old prospect in the following season.

He recorded eight hits in 17 at-bats as a rookie. Originally drafted as a catcher, Ivie had to transition to first base after dealing with a circulation issue in his left hand.

The former top pick did not return to the majors until 1974 and became the starting first baseman for the Padres for the next several seasons. Ivie was shipped to the Giants in exchange for utility bat Derrel Thomas prior to the 1978 season.

This proved to be a shrewd move by the Giants as Ivie put together a pair of productive seasons with San Francisco. This included a pinch-hit grand slam against former Los Angeles Dodgers hurler and Hall of Famer Don Sutton in 1978. The Giants won that game on May 28, 1978, by a score of 6-5 with Ivie's homer proving to be the difference.

Ivie followed that up by blasting 27 home runs in 1979 as he was tabbed to succeed Hall of Famer Willie McCovey at first base. In April of 1981, he was traded to the Houston Astros for Dave Bergman and Jeffrey Leonard.

Bergman and Leonard helped to fortify the Giants' lineup with the latter earning an All-Star appearance in 1987. Ivie retired from baseball in the 1983 season following a two-year stint with the Detroit Tigers.

In a lot of ways, Ivie helped bring awareness to the mental grind of the game. He was open about his struggles with trying to live up to the expectations of being a top pick and having to deal with failure. It is a part of the game that does not get talked about enough and Ivie's admission helped pave the way for future major leaguers in speaking publicly about the human side of the game.

In his post-playing days, the 11-year veteran opened up a shop for fishing and hunting. He resided in South Carolina until his passing. We at Around the Foghorn would like to extend our condolences to his friends and family.