Ford with the Baltimore Orioles
|Long Island Ducks – No. 20|
August 12, 1976 |
|May 29, 2003, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Runs batted in||176|
Jon Lewis "Lew" Ford (born August 12, 1976) is an American professional baseball player for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. An outfielder, Ford has played in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Hanshin Tigers, in the Mexican League for the Guerreros de Oaxaca, in the Dominican Baseball league for the Tigres del Licey, and in the Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks.
Ford is a 1994 graduate of Port Neches–Groves High School where he played football and baseball and a 1999 graduate of Dallas Baptist University. He also played college baseball at Texas A&M University and Seminole Junior College and Lee College.
In 1998, Ford was a first team All American at Dallas Baptist. He set their single school batting record, batting .507 over the course of more than 50 games. In spite of this, Ford was not chosen in the MLB draft. He came back the following year and had another season at Dallas Baptist, after which he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round of the 1999 amateur draft.
In 2000, he played his first full year of Single-A ball for the Augusta Greenjackets of the South Atlantic League. He had a good season, stealing 52 of 56 bases, and established the team single-season batting record by hitting .315, adding 74 RBI from the leadoff spot. Baseball America named him as the best defensive outfielder in Class A, and The Sporting News identified him as the Best 5-Tool Prospect in the Red Sox organization. He led minor league baseball in runs scored with 122. On September 9, 2000, Ford was traded to the Minnesota Twins for Héctor Carrasco. He also led Minor League Baseball in runs scored in 2002.
In 2004, he finished tied for 24th in American League Most Valuable Player balloting, garnering a total 2 points out of a possible 392.
Ford was named AL Player of the Week for the week ending August 21, 2005. He helped the Twins take three of four games from the Seattle Mariners after hitting 12-for-33, including three home runs, and leading the league in RBI and runs for that week.
In March 2009, he signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies, but did not play the season there. On August 24, 2009, Ford signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Ford was a member of the Long Island Ducks in 2009 when he posted 10 home runs, 2 triples, and 55 RBI in 93 games. The Texas native finished second in the league in batting average (.330) and fourth in on-base percentage (.407). His efforts earned him a contract with the Cincinnati Reds organization.
On July 29, 2012 Ford appeared in a MLB lineup for the first time since 2007. He batted fifth and played left field for the Orioles. Ford hit home runs for the Orioles in consecutive games against the Chicago White Sox on August 27–28, 2012. He finished the year hitting .183/.256/.352 with 3 HR and 4 RBI in 25 games. On November 2, Ford was outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency on November 6. On November 9, Ford signed a minor league contract with the Orioles with an invitation to spring training.
In August 2013, Ford was released from the Bowie Baysox, the Orioles' AA affiliate. He finished the 2013 season playing for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Ford started the 2014 season playing for the Ducks as a starting outfielder.
On October 29, 2014, Lew Ford was named the 2014 Atlantic League Player of the Year. Ford's 2014 season was highlighted by breaking two Atlantic League records. He finished the year with 189 hits, surpassing the previous high of 179 set by Victor Rodriguez (Somerset) in 2004. In addition, Ford became the first player in league history to play in all 140 games during the regular season. Navarrete and Wayne Lydon (Camden) had previously held the record of 139, which was set in 2009. The 38-year-old led the Atlantic League in doubles (40) during the 2014 campaign and finished second in batting average (.347), RBI (95), runs (100), total bases (278) and on-base percentage (.415). Ford earned Atlantic League Player of the Month honors in May after compiling a .402 batting average, 47 hits and .470 on-base percentage. Two months later, he was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas. The former big leaguer's defense was also outstanding, as he did not commit a single error in 97 games played in the outfield.
- Barzilai, Peter (2004-05-20). "Twins getting mileage from Ford". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-12-17.
- Caple, Jim. "Twins ride Ford's focus". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-17.
- Moore, Jack (November 9, 2012). "Orioles sign Lew Ford to minor league contract with spring training invitation". CBS Sports.
- Melewski, Steve. https://twitter.com/masnSteve/statuses/372079023653797889. Retrieved 26 August 2013. Missing or empty