BALTIMORE, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- In a bittersweet accomplishment, Mike Bordick of the Baltimore Orioles Friday night set a major league record with his 102nd straight errorless game at shortstop in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
The unsung Bordick handled all four chances before him flawlessly, and was his usual low-key self afterwards.
"It's a real special accomplishment," he said. "I am sure I will reflect more on it after the season. There is no such thing as a routine play. Every play there is something different. It feels nice to be mentioned as a great defensive shortstop."
The 5-11 Bordick, 37, was given a standing ovation in the bottom of the ninth inning by players from both teams and a crowd of 32,648 for his career-defining moment.
He celebrated the moment with his father, who made a surprise trip to Camden Yards from his home in Maine. The two sipped champagne together in the lockerroom.
"It's a tremendous feat," said his more glamorous Boston counterpart, Nomar Garciaparra. "It's a tremendous accomplishment. His peers and everybody respects him totally. I was clapping just like everybody else was. He's great. He may not get the fanfare or whatever, but he definitely gets the respect and appreciation from all of his peers. To get that respect is ultimately what it's all about."
"To look across the field and see Nomar Garciaparra tip his hat is very special," Bordick said. "Going out on the top step (of the dugout) was an emotional time. One of the greatest feelings I have ever had. Right now, I am at a loss for words."
"He always wanted to do things the right way," his father and namesake, Mike Bordick, Sr. told the Washington Post. "There were a lot of late nights growing up. All the other kids left the field, but he was still out there practicing, taking more grounders."
"Preparation is crucial," Bordick said. "When you take ground balls before games, you try to keep that as much game-like as possible and try to get your mind-set for the game."
"It's definitely been a pleasure to be on the receiving end of what he's done," said veteran first baseman Jeff Conine. "He's the best I've ever played with."
He has committed one error this season. That was April 10 on a grounder by Tampa Bay's Greg Vaughn. Bordick has been a shining light in an otherwise dismal campaign for the Orioles, who fell to 67-86 with Friday night's loss.