Former Diamond Jack Mike Ford blasted a 421-foot HR for the Yankees last night.
It’s always a good day to be a Diamond Jack but yesterday was particularly good for a pair of major leaguers who spent time developing their game at Jack Cust Baseball Academy and Diamond Nation.
Rob Kaminsky, a first round draft pick (28th overall) out of St. Joseph of Montvale in 2013, made his major league debut on Sunday and Mike Ford had a big night at the plate in the Yankees’ nationally televised victory over Boston.
Kaminsky grinded through seven years of minor league ball before getting the callup on Saturday from the team that drafted him, traded him and went out and brought him back to his original baseball home.
The 25 year-old lefthander pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eight in the Cardinals’ 7-2 loss to Chicago and did so against the extremely potent middle of the White Sox order.
Kaminsky retired Chicago’s four through six hitters in the lineup. He induced the dangerous Jose Abreu to ground out to shortstop on a 2-1 changeup, struck out Eloy Jimenez on three pitches, a slider, changeup and slider, and got righty power-hitter Edwin Encarnacion to bounce out to third base on his first offering, a four-seam fastball. Encarnacion has 416 home runs in his 16-year career.
The Cardinals have been beset by positive Covid-19 tests, forcing assorted roster moves. Kaminsky played for NJ Super 17 and was a First Team All-State selection his senior year of high school when he put forth one of the most dominant seasons in state history.
Ford, a Hun School grad and an Ivy League Player and Pitcher of the Year at Princeton, had some huge at bats after his callup to the Yankees last summer and has stepped in nicely as New York battles through injuries to Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and D.J. LeMahieu.
The lefty-hitting Ford drove in the game’s first run on a single to center field in the first inning and launched a 421-foot two-run home run to right-center field that extended the Yankees lead in the third to 4-1. The Yankees went on to win 4-2.
Ford was playing first base last night and has been in the lineup also at DH. He was the subject of some ribbing from ESPN broadcaster Alex Rodriguez, who said, “Ford looks like Babe Ruth up there.” The 6-0, 225-pound Ford, interviewed in the post-game by YES Network, got a kick out of the unlikely comparison, saying, “We’re both hefty guys, I guess.”
Watch for Ford and Kaminsky to continue to make hefty contributions to their MLB teams.