November 29, 2011
The October onslaught means we're always going to miss a few cool stories during the postseason, but this one was too good not to circle back on.
On Oct. 11, Major League Baseball named Bill Bordley as its new chief of security. This normally wouldn't really be that noteworthy, but Bordley comes into the job after a career path that combines two of the coolest and most admired occupations in America.
First, Bordley was a top pitching prospect for the San Francisco Giants in the late 1970s.
Then, after arm troubles derailed his career, he began the path to becoming a Secret Service agent, eventually serving 5 1/2 years on President Clinton's security detail and gaining a mention in The Starr Report when he tried to turn Monica Lewinsky away from the Oval Office.
Bordley testified for prosecutor Kenneth Starr that in late 1995 or early 1996, Clinton opened the Oval Office door and, as the report states, "indicated to Agent Bordley that Ms. Lewinsky's presence was all right, and ushered Ms. Lewinsky into the Oval Office. Agent Bordley saw Ms. Lewinsky leave about half an hour later."
Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon in April 1996. "It's pretty well-documented" is how Bordley summed up his knowledge of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.
The SF Chronicle's John Shea has more about Bordley's experiences with the department. The 53-year-old traveled to 85 different countries during his tenure, doing everything from protecting Chelsea Clinton from overzealous paparazzi to serving an assignment in Russia. His first days as MLB's security chief have already been hectic with the Wilson Ramos(notes) kidnapping and the ongoing litigation in the Bryan Stow beating case.
Back in 1988, the Los Angeles Times caught up with Bordley just as he was preparing to leave his baseball career behind and get into the Secret Service:
"A friend's brother was in it and enjoyed it," Bordley said of his initial interest in the Secret Service. "The investigations, things like that, were attractive. You're out in the field; you're not behind a desk all the time."
Bordley's new gig will include the large number of responsibilities you might expect when one is charged with protecting baseball's players, fans and ballparks. And while he'll never be able to write a book about his experiences with the government or MLB, I can't help but think that it would be one heck of a read.