Second Thoughts

Scooter's production rivaled Ford

Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett (above) became the first player to hit four home runs in a game this week since Mike Ford of the Charleston RiverDogs did it May 2014 in a Class A contest in Hickory, N.C.

Mike Ford was a history major at Princeton, but the annals of baseball were not his area of expertise.

"Not so much, to be honest with you," said Ford, the first baseman for the Trenton Thunder, the Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees. "I'm pretty terribly versed in that."

In his own way,Ford, 24, is a small part of baseball history. Before Scooter Gennett hit four home runs Tuesday for the Cincinnati Reds against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ford was the most recent professional player to accomplish the feat, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. He did it for the Class A Charleston RiverDogs in Hickory, N.C., on May 25, 2014.

Ford had made his professional debut the previous summer, after signing with the Yankees as an undrafted free agent. Even though he had just won the Ivy League awards for player of the year and pitcher of the year, no team took him in the 2013 draft.

"The first time I went to the Cape Cod League, I went to be a pitcher only, in 2012," Ford said, referring to the elite wooden-bat summer league.

"We had two first basemen go down, and they couldn't find another guy for a few days, so I played and I did well. I ended up hitting the rest of the summer, and I barely pitched. That was kind of the start of it."

Ford did have experience as a hitter -- and, remarkably, with bashing four home runs in a game. He did it as a senior at the Hun School in New Jersey, driving in 10 runs in a 2010 game . Midway through his big game four years later, Ford told his teammates what he had done before.

"They all started chirping, 'Oh, you can't hit another one,' " Ford said. "So after the second one I was like, 'I got four in high school in a game, I'll see if I can do it again.' And once I got the third one it was kind of like, 'OK, let's try to match this.' "

Ford, who was a designated hitter batting cleanup, still remembers each of the pitches he hit out against the Hickory Crawdads: a changeup, a fastball, a slider and another fastball. All the home runs came from the fourth inning on, after Ford had walked and struck out in his first two plate appearances.

Charleston would win the game, 17-10.

Sore arm

East Carter (Grayson, Ky.) was eliminated from the Kentucky state high school softball tournament late Friday night, but you can't blame the effort put in by pitcher Montana Fouts.

Fouts, a junior University of Alabama commit, threw a whopping 451 pitches in four games Friday. That follows her throwing a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 9-0 victory against Collins on Thursday night.

Her team finished 36-5.

Summer sports

From Janice Hough of

"Tokyo 2020 Olympics to add 3 on 3 basketball in effort to appeal to younger viewers," Hough wrote. "If that's their goal go ahead and add beer pong."

Sports quiz

Who is the only player to lose the U.S. Open in a playoff three times?

Sports answer

Arnold Palmer


Sports on 06/11/2017