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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lew Ford’s long journey leads him back to the bigs for the first time since 2007

The 35-year old Ford was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round of the 1999 draft, but he hasn’t played a game in the major leagues since 2007, when he hit .233 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Since then, he has bounced around with organizations all of the world, including Japan in 2008 and Mexico in 2010.

Not a single MLB organization wanted him before the 2011 season, not even in their minor league systems. So Ford signed with an independent league team, the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, figuring it would be his last year in baseball. Injury issues shortened his season, though, and he wanted to go out with a full season under his belt. He re-signed with the Ducks in 2012, not expecting much. He had some friends on the Ducks from his earlier playing days, and had no thoughts of getting back to the majors. He just wanted to play. 

But after he hit .333 in 19 games with the Ducks, the Orioles signed Ford to a minor league contract on May 18th, which was already more than what he was expecting going into the year.

“If I got picked up, great, but my thought process going into the season was that I was going to play in the Atlantic league and hopefully win a championship there,” Ford said. “This is kind of more than I dreamed of. The chance that this would happen is just so small. I’m a very realistic person and I wasn’t expecting this at all when I started off this year, to make it back here is ... I’m just so happy.”

Thanks to Boog Barnald.

Repoz Posted: July 29, 2012 at 01:24 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. TerpNats Posted: July 29, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4195154)
To the power of perseverance.
   2. GregD Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4195214)
Anyone know the pension requirements? He's played 3 full seasons and parts of 2 others, before this year. Do you need 5 full seasons to qualify for the pension?
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4195226)
greg

players are vested after 40 odd days on the active roster. one day on a roster gets them lifetime healthcare.

i think the minimum pension benefit is 34k annually. if you play 10 years in the majors you get over 120k annually
   4. Steve Treder Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4195238)
i think the minimum pension benefit is 34k annually. if you play 10 years in the majors you get over 120k annually

Doesn't the annual amount depend upon at what age you choose to start collecting?
   5. stealfirstbase Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4195407)
I always remember Lew Ford as the quintessential type of Twins player from the early 2000s. They had good teams year in and year out that were considerably greater than the sum of their parts. Seriously, their most common starting infield was probably Corey Koskie, Christian Guzman, Luis Rivas and Doug Mientkiewicz, with an outfield of Ford, Hunter and Jacque Jones. As a White Sox fan, that was a particularly galling lineup to which to lose, especially when we had Thomas, Konerko, Lee and Ordonez as the backbone of the team.

Those were some frustrating years. I really had no idea Lew Ford was still around.

Regarding pensions and such, didn't Sal Fasano have some issue a couple of seasons ago where he had to play a certain number of major league games to get his family covered on the ML health insurance?
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4195413)
steve

i think you can start collecting at age 55
   7. base ball chick Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4195436)
if a player is called up even for ONE day he gets lifetime healthcare for himself? now THAT is freaking AWESOME.

and it is 40 days on the 25 man in order to get the minimum pension, is that right? is that true if they are on the DL too? does september time count toward either
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4195444)
I was in attendance at Camden Yards today, my first time there. I love baseball because any day you go to the park you're going to see some interesting things. Like Lew Ford back from the dead. Lew Ford! I remembered him, vaguely, being in the Twins system ten-plus years ago. He gunned down Cespedes trying to stretch out a double in the second inning and got a huge ovation for it, and was serenaded with "LEEEEEEEEEW"s from the crowd every time he came to bat or handled the ball in the field. (The Orioles have pretty damn awesome fans. It's a criminal shame their owner is such a nitwit.)

Also, Wei-Yin Chen struck out 12 in less than 6 innings, which was kind of awesome. It's probable that will forever stand as his career high of strikeouts in a game. He also got a huge ovation with every strikeout after the first 6 or so, and a sustained standing O when it was announced he had set a new record for strikeouts in a game by a Taiwanese, and another when he left the game in the sixth.

And Matt Wieters hit a three run bomb, but of course I expected that. That's what he does when he's in a slump. I wore my Matt Wieters Facts shirt, of course.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4195446)
lisa

i think it's 43 days to be precise

but that is from memory
   10. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4195459)
Also, Wei-Yin Chen struck out 12 in less than 6 innings, which was kind of awesome.

When he hit 11, they made it a point to announce on the Jumbotron that he set a record for most K's in a game by a Taiwanese-born pitcher.
   11. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4195462)
Yes, I believe I mentioned that. Sorry if my writing is as clear as a stone wall, I'm tired enough to be punchy right now.

They also put on the Jumbotron after he left the game that he apparently set an Orioles record for most strikeouts in under 6 innings.
   12. Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4195463)
Lew Ford will always be an irrational fan favorite in Minnesota. The guy is just goofy. There are two Lew stories that always get mentioned when his name pops up. The first is the time he allegedly burned himself trying to iron a shirt...while wearing it. The second involved Gardenhire seeing Lew at a restaurant with a couple guys, and when Gardy walks up to the group, Lew introduces his friends by saying "we met on the Internet."

Actually, here's a decent interview with Lew. I'm glad he's still around.
   13. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4195469)
The friend I attended the game with speculated that he thinks scoring is probably lower on Sunday afternoon games than other types of games, because most of the hitters are tired and hung over and want to get the hell out of there, and so tend to hack more. I assured him he's an idiot and that's obviously wrong; even if he's right about the hangovers (itself almost certainly exaggerated by him) it would affect the pitchers as much as the hitters. But I don't know if the question's ever been studied. Sometimes you find things you don't expect, when you study a question.
   14. dejarouehg Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4195470)
I think they can start collecting their pension at 45.

I believe the annual pay after 10 years in the bigs is $140K.

Their health plan is phenominal.

In 1994, each player received annual royalties of $95K.

Not a bad gig!
   15. caprules Posted: July 29, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4195502)
The friend I attended the game with speculated that he thinks scoring is probably lower on Sunday afternoon games than other types of games,


Aren't Sunday lineups the ones most likely to have 2-3 bench players starting? Brewers fans on the Internet hate the Sunday lineups, and I remember Yankee fans hating Torre's House Money lineups on Sundays.
   16. base ball chick Posted: July 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4195506)
14 - when i think of the zillions coming in and all the zillions the owners make, i'm glad that if a guy touches the sky if only for a day that he never has to worry about his health care for the rest of his life.

even 34K a year for 45 days in the Bigs - they deserve every penny. especially lower round draft picks.

i think it is teh AWESOMENESS that mark saccomanno gets lifetime health insurance and so does charlton jimerson and now edwin maysonet has been up enough days to get a pension. small consolation for being screwed by the astros.

of course, most guys who are in the big leagues for 10 years don't need no 100 G a year - that's chicken feed

it's too bad they don't/won't do anything for minor leaguers
   17. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4195507)
11: Jeez, I totally missed that. I'm sorry.
   18. Greg Franklin Posted: July 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4195528)
12: Actually, here's a decent interview with Lew. I'm glad he's still around.

After being gone for 5 years, I wonder how adept he is with the modern smartphone and tablet platforms. He really doesn't need to drag around a desktop PC on roadtrips nowadays.
   19. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4195551)
one day on a roster gets them lifetime healthcare.

That's good to know for this guy.

In my head, I confuse Lew Ford with Bobby Kielty every time.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4195573)
Oh yeah, well I confuse him with Bobby Kielty, Chad Allen, Dustan Mohr, AND Michael Restovich.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:32 AM (#4195601)
Oh yeah, well I confuse him with Bobby Kielty, Chad Allen, Dustan Mohr, AND Michael Restovich.

Actually, I always assumed Lew Ford was the speedy black guy in that group. Until I saw him play. Then I shared your confusion.
   22.   Posted: July 30, 2012 at 05:15 AM (#4195610)
The Twins traded Bobby Kielty to the Jays for Shannon Stewart, who eventually lost his job to Lew Ford.

Later, the A's would trade Ted Lilly to the Jays for Bobby Kielty, who would eventually lose his job ... to Shannon Stewart!

And now you know....
   23. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4195708)
Actually, I always assumed Lew Ford was the speedy black guy in that group. Until I saw him play. Then I shared your confusion.


Me too. Looking at his steal totals I figured he must be related to this guy. I mean, a Ford is a type of Carr.

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