Sunday, January 3, 2010

1976 Topps #313 - Dan Ford

  • "Disco Dan" Ford was an outfielder for three teams from 1975-1985. He grew up in Watts during the time of the riots. Ford was a first round draft pick of the Oakland A's in 1970. He played in the A's minor league system from 1971-1974 but couldn't break into the A's outfield (Jackson/North/Rudi) and was traded to the Minnesota Twins (with a minor leaguer) for Pat Bourque after the '74 season.
  • Ford became the starting CF for the Twins in 1975 and batted .280 with 15 HR and 59 RBI in 130 games. In 1976 Ford batted .267 with 20 HR and 86 RBI in 145 games as the Twins' starting RF. Dan also struck out 118 times while walking only 36 times for a .323 on base percentage. He wasn't the type of guy you wanted at the top of the lineup.
  • In 1977 Dan batted .267 with 11 HR and 60 RBI in 144 games. Ford had a similar year in 1978, batting .267 with 11 HR and 82 RBI in 151 games. After the 1978 season Ford was traded to the California Angels for Danny Goodwin and Ron Jackson.
  • Ford had his best season in 1979. He batted .290 with 100 runs scored, 21 HR, and 101 RBI. Dan homered twice in four games and batted .294 in the ALCS. Dan was hurt for much of the 1980 season. He didn't play between May 28 and August 8. On May 28 Ford was batting only .220 but by the end of the year he raised his average to .279.
  • In 1981 Ford reclaimed his starting RF spot and in 97 games batted .277 with 15 HR and 48 RBI. After the 1981 season Dan was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Doug DeCinces and Jeff Schneider. Ford batted .235 with 10 HR and 43 RBI in 123 games for the Orioles in 1982.
  • Ford missed a month (late June-late July) of the 1983 season. In 103 games Dan batted .280 with 9 HR and 55 RBI. He was 1 for 5 in the ALCS and batted .167 in 14 at bats in the World Series. Ford was released by the Orioles after the '83 season but resigned with the team in January 1984.
  • Dan became a part-time player in 1984 and 1985. He played in only 25 games in 1984, batting .231 in 91 AB. In 1985 he batted .187 in 75 AB. Ford was released after the 1985 season.
  • After his career Ford did some scouting for the Oakland A's but didn't like that very much. He later formed an intervention program with Darryl Jackson to "work with tough kids and help them adjust to things."
  • Here is a June 2003 interview with Ford. He lists his toughest pitchers as Ron Guidry and Jack Morris. He also says that Jim Hunter was the best pitcher he ever saw. Dan didn't fare too badly against Guidry (.244 in 41 AB) and actually did quite well against Morris (.313 in 16 AB)
  • Liked to face: Bob Lacey (8 for 9 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 HR); Bob Stanley (.450 in 20 AB); Rick Waits (.435 in 23 AB)
  • Hated to face: Jim Hunter (.000 in 16 AB); Milt Wilcox (.045 in 22 AB); Dave Steib (.129 in 31 AB)

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