Happy Birthday–August 12

Christy Mathewson (1880)
Ray Schalk (1892)
Harlond Clift (1912)
Fred Hutchinson (1919)
Bob Buhl (1928)
Kevin Cooney (1950)
Matt Clement (1974)
Lew Ford (1976)

A notoriously bad hitter, even for a pitcher, Bob Buhl had a lifetime average of .089 and went the entire 1962 season without getting a hit (0-for-70).  Oddly, he equaled his career high in walks that year with six, which goes to show something or other.

Kevin Cooney was an eleventh round draft choice of the Twins in 1972.  He pitched in the Twins’ organization for two seasons, then a shoulder injury ended his playing career.  He then became a college baseball coach.  He was the head coach at Montclair State from 1984-1987 and at Florida Atlantic from 1988-2008.

We would like to wish a happy birthday to MagUidhir's niece and nephew.

Outfielder Jon Lewis “Lew” Ford played for the Twins from 2003-2007.  He was born in Beaumont, Texas, went to high school in Port Neches, Texas, attended Dallas Baptist University, and was drafted by the Red Sox in the twelfth round in 1999. He hit well in their minor league system (although as a 22-year-old in the NY-P league and a 23-year-old in the Sally League). The Twins acquired him in September of 2000 for Hector Carrasco. Ford got to AA in 2001 and AAA in 2002.  The latter was his best minor league season, as he hit .318 with 20 homers in a year split between New Britain and Rochester.  Ford came up to the Twins in May of 2003, did well in limited playing time that year and became a regular the following season. 2004 was by far his best year: he hit .299 with 15 homers and 72 RBIs, and actually received a ninth-place vote for MVP that year. Ford declined after that, losing his starting spot in 2006 when he hit only .226. He split time in 2007 between AAA and Minnesota and was released after the season. As a Twin, he batted .272/.349/.402 with 32 homers and 172 RBIs. After leaving the Twins, Ford went to Japan to play for the Hanshin Tigers. He signed a minor-league contract with Colorado in March of 2009, but failed to make the Rockies. He spent most of 2009 playing for the Long Island Ducks, although he did play briefly for AAA Louisville in the Cincinnati organization.  Ford began 2010 playing in Mexico, but was released in mid-May despite the fact that he was hitting .314 with 13 doubles and 5 homers in 140 at-bats.  He went back to the Ducks for 2011 and played very well.  He was doing even better for them in 2012 when he signed with the Baltimore organization in mid-May.  He was sent to AAA Norfolk, continued to hit well, and in late July, after an absence of about four and a half years, Lew Ford was back in the big leagues.  He was a free agent after the season, re-signed with Baltimore, missed much of the season with injury, and ended 2013 back with the Long Island Ducks.  He was with them again in 2014.  In 2015 he played both with the Ducks and with Tijuana in the Mexican League, hitting well in both places.  He has been back with Long Island for 2016-17 and continues to hit well there.  He turns forty-one today.  It seems extremely unlikely that we will ever see Lew Ford back in the big leagues, but he's already beaten the odds once, so who's to say he can't do it again?

Leave a Reply