Athlete of the Week: Riverdogs' 1B Mike Ford

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston has a storied history of baseball. It's been played for almost 120 years in the Holy City, and just a few nights ago Riverdogs first baseman Mike Ford had what may have been the best night in Charleston baseball history.

And that makes him this week's Athlete of the Week.

Ask any athlete and they'll say some nights everything just works perfectly, and others are anything but. Some nights start well; others end well. When Ford took the field in Hickory for the Riverdogs on Sunday, there was no way he could have known how it would end.

"I wasn't seeing it that well in the first two at bats. I made adjustment to relax and the last four I was seeing it pretty well. It ended up being a great day," he said.

His third at bat was a home run. His fourth at bat was also a homer. Ad so was his fifth.

"After three, I say, 'Let's do it again. If it doesn't happen, you're still having a good day,'" he said.

And baseball is just sometimes an odd game. He ended up with a fourth home run.

"One day in high school, I hit four in a game, went 4-for-4, and I pitched that day, too.That'ss up there, but this tops it," he said. "I always knew I was capable throughout my life. I try to stay confident. It was a good summer when I got picked up this year."

Ford's climb to the big leagues has been a challenge and a calculated risk. He left school one year early and was not drafted.

"I knew I was ready. Pro ball would be a challenge and I needed it to make my game better. I needed to be pushed," he said. "I was lucky with school. I went back for a semester, I'll go this fall and I have one semester left. It worked for me and school has, too. I was just ready baseball-wise."

But for Ford, his risk was a bit bigger than most because he walked away from a top Ivy League school -- Princeton University.

"For sure, I went to Princeton but I don't like reading and writing that much. I'm definitely trying to make this work," Ford said.

But one night in Hickory gave him something he can go back to in the annals of Charleston baseball and read about for a long time, wherever his career takes him.

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