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Twins Birthdays--May 19

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Dan Ford (1952)

Outfielder Darnell Glenn “Disco Danny” Ford played for the Twins from 1975-1978. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ford was drafted by Oakland in the first round in 1970. He spent his first two seasons at Class A Burlington, hitting .354 with 18 homers the second year. That got him promoted to AAA Tucson, where he also spent two seasons. Ford hit around .280 with double digit home runs in each season, but the Athletics were apparently not impressed as they traded both Ford and Dennis Myers to Minnesota after the season for Pat Bourque. Many would argue the Twins got the better end of the deal; Bourque never played in the majors again, while Ford was a solid major league outfielder for Minnesota for four years. He started 1975 with Minnesota and never went back to the minors. His year-to-year numbers as a Twin are remarkably consistent. He batted between .267 and .280 every season with an OPS from .756 to .781. He hit from 11 to 20 homers each year. Ford was in center for the Twins in 1975, moved to right in 1976 and 1977, and went back to center in 1978. As a Twin, Dan Ford hit .272/.331/.435 in 1,999 at-bats. After the 1978 season, Minnesota traded Ford to California for Danny Goodwin and Ron Jackson. He spent three seasons as the Angels right fielder and was essentially the same player he had been in Minnesota, although 101 RBIs in 1979 got him a bit of MVP consideration. The Angels traded Ford to Baltimore after the 1981 season. He was there for four seasons. His first one was his first bad season in the majors, as he hit only .235. Ford bounced back in 1983 with a typical Dan Ford season: .280/.328/.440. It was his last good year in the majors, however. Ford battled injuries his last two seasons, playing sporadically, and retired after the 1985 campaign. He was never a star, but he was a solid, consistent major league outfielder for eight years, and that’s pretty good. After leaving baseball, he moved to Louisiana to help run a family ranch, then became a scout, first with Oakland, then with the Angels. At last report, Dan Ford was working with at-risk youth, apparently in the Los Angeles area.
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