Ah the home run derby. Genuinely one of my favorite events in all of sports. The home run derby, which was already awesome, is one of the few events that actually made an absolutely sick improvement when they added in the four minute timer. As one of the hosts of the number one Bachelor podcast in the universe (self-proclaimed), this is always one of the toughest nights of the year for me as I “have to” watch, tweet, and take notes on The Bachelorette, and watch the derby. It’s all worth it though for you, the listener/reader.
Anyways, this blog isn’t about me or the home run derby or even The Bachelorette. No, this blog is about that one time I witnessed baseball history.
It was a hot August Sunday afternoon in 2001(?). My parents, aunt, and uncle took little eleven-year-old Ketch to a Binghamton Mets game. The B-Mets were playing Twins affiliate New Britain Rock Cats and got spanked 10-0.
That wasn’t the story though. The story of the day was Rock Cats leadoff hitter Lew Ford.
Lew Ford came into the game with two home runs. Over the course of the next three-ish hours, me and everyone in attendance witnessed one of the greatest feats of all time. Lew Ford hit not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE fucking home runs.
Five home runs has happened what, like three times in the history of organized baseball? And I, along with maybe 150 other people were there to see it. Lew Ford went 5-6 with five home runs. What happened on his sixth at bat you may ask? Well if you ask my mom he hit a bomb to right that was caught right at the wall. However, what really happened was that he popped out to second base.
Now here’s the mysterious part about this whole thing; if you search the web for this, there is NOTHING about it. His name comes up on no lists, no articles, nothing. It’s insane. Part of me does think maybe it didn’t happen. Maybe he only hit four homers. But how does that explain that me, my mom, dad, aunt, uncle, and two family friends who just happened to be at the game (not with us) also remember five home runs? How does that explain my incredibly vivid memory of Lew Ford stepping to the plate in the first inning with two home runs and then in the ninth inning with seven home runs? And what about when the New Britain Rock Cats were in town a few weeks later and we went to the game and I tried to get a ball from their bullpen like a shithead and I said “I was at the game when Lew Ford hit five home runs” and the pitcher responded “yeah that was unreal, the guy hadn’t hit five his whole life before that.”?
Maybe his fifth homer was protested or something and it’s not in the record books. Maybe everyone in attendance, including whoever the guy in the bullpen I talked to were on acid and imagined five home runs. All I know is that I saw him hit five home runs. I saw a mortal man turn into a legend and that man was Lew Ford.
PS – I guess Lew Ford is still swinging the big stick for the Long Island Ducks where as of last year he was the DH AND hitting coach.
PPS – Take a look at some of the names on the 2001 New Britain Rock Cats roster:
I didn’t include the Binghamton Mets rosters because the only “big” player from that roster was Ty Wiggington.