Ducks welcome back all-time leading hitter
(Central Islip, N.Y., March 16, 2016) – The three-time Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of outfielder and bench coach Lew Ford. The former Major Leaguer will begin his seventh season as a member of the Ducks and third as a player/coach.
“Lew is one of the most respected players in the Atlantic League and all of baseball,” says Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “He remains an incredible asset to our lineup and brings invaluable experience to our coaching staff.”
Ford spent the majority of the 2015 season with Long Island. In 75 games, he compiled a .364 batting average with eight home runs, 63 RBI, 47 runs, 28 doubles and a .432 on-base percentage. He was signed in July by Tijuana of the Mexican League and hit .372 with three homers, 23 RBI, 26 runs and six doubles in 30 games. The 39-year-old went on to play winter ball in the Caribbean and won both the Dominican Professional Baseball League championship and Championship Series MVP honors.
The Texas native is the Ducks’ all-time leader in batting average, hitting at a .342 clip since joining the team in 2009. He has spent time with Long Island in each subsequent season with the exception of 2010. In 416 games with the Flock, the 39-year-old has totaled 47 home runs, 279 RBI, 308 runs, 123 doubles and a .414 on-base percentage. Ford was named the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year in 2014 after breaking league records for hits (189) and games played (140). He also earned back-to-back Atlantic League All-Star Game selections in 2014 and 2015. The Central Islip resident began his foray into coaching during the 2014 season as the team’s hitting coach and served in that role, as well as that of bench coach, in 2015.
The six-year Major League veteran has played 519 career games at baseball’s highest level. In five seasons with the Minnesota Twins and one with the Baltimore Orioles, he has posted a .268 batting average with 35 home runs, 176 RBI, 235 runs and 83 doubles. In 2012, he became the 13th player in Ducks history to reach the Major Leagues after playing on Long Island when the Orioles called him up in August. He went on to hit .375 with one RBI and two runs in four postseason games. Ford was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round of the 1999 amateur draft.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League is the most innovative league in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball. In the league’s 18-year history, over 34 million fans have attended ALPB games and more than 800 players have joined MLB organizations. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcases the talent of top-caliber players and offers affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population. ALPB clubs serve the communities of Bridgeport and New Britain, Conn., Lancaster and York, Pa., Central Islip, N.Y., Bridgewater, N.J., Waldorf, Md., and Sugar Land, Texas.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.