Heading into Sunday’s action, the Charleston RiverDogs first baseman was having a superb first half of his season. After Sunday’s game Mike Ford’s hot start became a historic one.
Ford blasted four home runs in Sunday’s bout against the Hickory CrawDads. The RiverDogs needed everyone of them as well as the end result resembled more of a football score than a baseball game. Ford went 4-5 on the day, driving in five of Charleston’s 17 runs.
Per the Society for American Baseball Research, more affectionally known as SABR to the stat junkies of the baseball world, Ford’s four home runs on Sunday were the most ever by a Charleston professional ball player in a single game. It is the first four home run game in the South Atlantic League in twelve seasons, when Tony Mongeluzzo of the Savannah Sand Gnats accomplished the same feat. He quickly jumped into a third place tie in the SAL for home runs on the year.
Ford’s first home run was a two run dinger in the fourth inning. He then was the back end of consecutive blasts in the sixth following Aaron Judge’s fifth blast of the season. Ford hit a solo shot an inning later, and in the top of the ninth, Ford hit his record setting fourth home run of the game.
Mike Ford is no stranger to making history. As a first baseman and pitcher for the Princeton Tigers, Ford took home both the Player AND Pitcher of the Year Awards after his 2013 season, the first Ivy Leaguer ever to do so. After going undrafted, the Yankees gave the 20-year old prospect a chance. He had a tough transition at Staten Island last season, but seems to be finding his groove as the every day first baseman for the RiverDogs. Ford is batting .318 with a team leading 8 home runs and 25 RBI so far on the year.