Time to take another trip into the Mariner wayback machine to spotlight a former M's player. Today, we go back to a player that had a lot of hype and potential but was never able to showcase it with the Mariners. This week , we look back on Ivan Calderon.
Ivan was originally signed as a amateur free agent by the M's in July, 1979. From 1980 to mid 1984, he made the natural progression through the minor leagues. In 1980, he was at rookie ball with the Bellingham Mariners. In 1981 and 1982 he played A ball with the Wausau Timbers. For 1983, Ivan played for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts. In 1984, he started the season with the AAA Salt Lake City Gulls. On August 10, 1984 he made his MLB Debut in the Kingdome against the Twins, going 0 for 3. For 1985 Ivan split time in RF, LF, and 1B. He couldn't get consistent playing time in the outfield with Phil Bradley, Dave Henderson, And Al Cowens playing regularly. It was hard to get much time at 1B either with new phenom Alvin Davis playing there. After losing most of his playing time in right field to Danny Tartabull, the Mariners traded him to the White Sox to complete a deal that brought C Scott Bradley to the team.
Ivan spent his most productive years with Sox, and was traded after the 1990 season to the Expos for Tim Raines. His best year of his career came in 1991 with Montreal when he made the All Star team. After two years withe Expos, he was traded to the other Sox, the Red Sox. He spent most of 1993 with Sox, but was released and spent the last month of 1993 back with the White Sox. Due to injuries, he retired after the season. He was not heard from much after retiring back to his home in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, Ivan met his untimely death on December 27, 2003 when his was shot 7 times in the back of the head in a convenience store in Loiza, Puerto Rico. It is believed that there might be a mafia connection to his murder. His murder remains unsolved and no one has been brought to justice for his death. May Ivan rest in peace.