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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

How MLB vet found a home in Atlantic League

If you were watching baseball in the early-2000’s, you may remember Lew Ford as the Twins’ folk hero who came out of nowhere to help lead Minnesota to the 2004 postseason. The then-27-year-old filled in for an injured Torii Hunter and ended up getting AL MVP votes—putting up 15 homers, 72 RBIs, 20 steals and a .299/.381/.446 slash line. “Lews” rained down from the Metrodome bleachers. Twins writers still fawn over his heroics today. He was on top of the world….

Ford signed with the Ducks at the end of the 2013 season and signed on again in ‘14. That year, he had one of the best ever for an Atlantic League player: He set the all-time record for hits in a season (189), led the league in doubles (40) and slashed at .347/.415/.511 with 15 homers and 95 RBIs. He also became the first in league history to play in all 140 regular-season games and was named Atlantic League Player of the Year.

Ford played winter ball, but continued to come back every summer to the Ducks—where he now has a house and fiancée.

“I liked it,” Ford said. “I got signed out of here. I have ties with this place, so I kept coming back.”

The 2021 season is Ford’s 11th with the Ducks—his .320 career average is a franchise record, he’s been selected to three regular-season All-Star teams and two in the postseason. He’s even participated in the Home Run Derby ... at 41 years old.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:07 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: atlantic league, lew ford

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   1. Rally Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:28 PM (#6040736)
I remember being amazed he pulled off a comeback, after several years out of the big leagues, and helped the Orioles get to the postseason. That was 9 years ago. He’s still playing? Good for him.
   2. catomi01 Posted: September 21, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6040754)
Real nice guy too...up through 2019 my company leased a suite with the Ducks, and he was the go-to guy they used for sponsor events, and always seemed happy to hang around and talk, autographs for the kids, etc. etc.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6040765)
I can't see the name "Lew" in a baseball sense without thinking of (a) Lew Krausse and/or (b) "Long Lew" Lydell from The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., who figures in a rather NSFW anecdote.
   4. Karl from NY Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6041022)
It's possible I'm misremembering this, but I think I was at a Ducks game about 10 or 12 years ago where Lew got in as a pitcher for a garbage time inning in a blowout, in the first game of a doubleheader. That was fun. It looked like he was throwing knuckleballs.
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6041037)
It's possible I'm misremembering this, but I think I was at a Ducks game about 10 or 12 years ago where Lew got in as a pitcher for a garbage time inning in a blowout, in the first game of a doubleheader. That was fun. It looked like he was throwing knuckleballs.

BR records him as pitching one inning in a game for the Ducks in 2011, giving up two runs, and two hits, one of them a home run.
   6. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 22, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6041088)
I remember hearing about Lew as a Red Sox farmhand and how he was the fastest player in the system (52 for 56 as a base stealer in high A). Of course we traded him for Hector Carrasco (6 IP, 8 R for us).

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