Selected first overall by San Diego in the 1970 MLB draft, Ivie made his MLB debut at just 18 years old in 1971, slashing a phenomenal .471/.526/.471 in a six-game cup of coffee that season. Initially drafted as a catcher, Ivie developed the yips early on in his professional career, an issue that forced him to move to first base shortly after his debut. He spent the next two seasons in the minor leagues before returning to the majors in 1974. From 1975 to 1977, Ivie served as the Padres’ regular first baseman, slashing a roughly league .271/.322/.393.
Following the 1977 campaign, Ivie was traded to San Francisco, where he would have the best seasons of his career. In 1978 and 1979, Ivie stepped to the plate a combined 807 times, slashing a phenomenal .296/.361/.515 that was 41% better than league average at the time by measure of wRC+. Ivie slugged a combined 38 home runs, 32 doubles, and six triples across those two campaigns, and even chipped in eight stolen bases.
Ivie struggled to replicate that strong production in 79 with the Giants during the 1980 season, and was traded to the Houston Astros early on in the 1981 campaign. Continued struggles led Ivie to request his release from the Astros, which was granted early in the 1982 season. He finished his career as a member of the Tigers, for whom he slashed .232/.299/.448 with 14 home runs and 12 doubles in 80 games during the 1982 campaign before retiring from professional baseball in 1983 at the age of 30. Overall, Ivie’s major league career spanned 11 seasons and saw him record 724 hits including 81 home runs in 857 career games. He finished his playing days with an above average career slash line of .269/.324/.421.
MLBTR sends our condolences to his family, friends, former teammates and loved ones.