New York Yankees first baseman Mike Ford made the Opening Day Roster and celebrated with an emotional Instagram post.
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Normally I don’t have much to say about myself, but today is a very special moment for me. I will finally be able to look at my name on an opening day lineup card in the big leagues. I know the rosters are expanded and it is a strange season, but it is one I will always remember. If you told me my dream, making the opening day roster for the yankees, as a young kid in New Jersey would come true, I wouldn’t have believed you. From an undrafted free agent to an opening day roster, if anyone tells you you can’t do something, it’s not true. Keep your head down and keep working and good things can happen. Just keep living in the moment.
Ford, 28, debuted for the Yankees last season and posted an impressive line of .259/.350/.559 in 50 games. The New Jersey native also slugged 12 home runs with 25 RBI, including a notable walk-off blast against the Oakland Athletics. Ford also starred at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .303 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs.
More recently, Ford hit a moonshot of a game-tying home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in a Monday exhibition game. Per Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 680 feet. This was obviously a mistake, but there’s no doubt it went further than your average home run.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 21, 2020
In a year where every decision is difficult, the Yankees made a fairly easy one in putting Ford on the team. His raw power and lefty bat are incredibly valuable in a heavily right-handed lineup, always good things to have on the bench.
But let’s put Mike Ford the player aside for a second and focus on Mike Ford the man. As he said in his post, this is an absolute dream come true. He was born and raised in New Jersey, just a stone’s throw from Yankee Stadium. Ford played high school ball at the prestigious Hun School in Princeton. He remained in Princeton for college and played for the Tigers as both a first baseman and a pitcher.
And though Ford went undrafted, the New York Yankees took a chance on him. Six years later, he’s on the MLB roster as a valuable power bat. Manager Aaron Boone also heaped high praise on his young first baseman:
Aaron Boone called Mike Ford "a really good, middle-of-the-order major-league hitter. That’s how I view him."
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 21, 2020
Make no mistake, Yankees fans. Luke Voit may be the starting first baseman, but Mike Ford is going to get plenty of at-bats in 2020. Boone will make sure of it.