It took a freak accident to get Lew Ford in a Twins uniform. In September 2000, as the Boston Red Sox were in the midst of a pennant drive, one of the club's middle relievers, Bryce Florie, had his face rearranged by a line drive. Florie would not take the mound again that season. In desperation, the Sox inquired about Twins journeyman pitcher Hector Carrasco.
The Twins, playing out the final games of a futile season, traded Carrasco and his salary to Beantown for a Class "A" minor-league outfielder deemed by at least one Red Sox scout as a "solid minor-league guy, but not really a pro prospect."
Three-plus seasons later, Carrasco is out of baseball and John Lewis "Lew" Ford is blossoming at the plate and in the outfield for the Twins.
Not many people have to deal with being traded in their professions, what was that like?
I was really surprised at the time. You never really expect something like that to happen when you are in "A" ball. Plus, our season was over by that point, and I had already gone home. Yeah, it was a bit shocking, but it has ended up working out for me very well.
You were the last cut in spring training this year, but you were back in a few days when Torii Hunter got hurt. Now, the team is making moves to keep you with the big club, and you're getting national attention for your hitting. Has it all caught up with you yet?
It's been a ride. I'm just hoping to play as well here as I have in places I've been before. Sometimes it's been difficult coming up and just fitting in, but this year, after being with the team for a while in 2003, I know everybody here and the transition has been real smooth.
The Twins are a pretty tight-knit team, did anyone take you under their wing when you first got called up last year?
I'd go out in center field and work with Torii a lot. I did and still do watch what he does and try to learn how he plays hitters. He helps me out by showing me where to play guys and little things like that. He's been great, but it is just a great bunch of guys in general.
You've always hit well throughout your career; but did you really expect to come up and take a spot amongst the league leaders in batting?
Everything's been going real well this year so far. I've been seeing the ball and the hits have been coming consistently. Hopefully, they'll keep coming.
The fans have really taken to you in a fairly brief time here, is it nice to be wanted?
I love it when the fans shout "Leeeeewwww." They've been so great to me, so friendly. It's great, and the support feels real good.