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Swapped back and forth, Ford learns to live without a suitcase


NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Ford has learned to travel light — and fast.

Since the start of the season, the 29-year-old first baseman has played for Tacoma, San Francisco and Sacramento. Traded from Seattle to the Giants on April 30, he was returned to the Mariners on Thursday.

On Friday night, he found his way to Citi Field, seventh at bat for the Mariners as the designated hitter in a series opener at the New York Mets.

“Only one sack I travel with, and that’s about it,” the 29-year-old first baseman said before going 0-for-2 with a walk, pitch and strikeout. “Five dress shirts, two pairs of pants, and a few shorts and t-shirts. So very simple packing at this point. It’s a little easier. Plus, you don’t have to pay $150 for the third bag. Everytime.”

Ford was a rare southpaw bat on the New York Yankees from 2019-21, hitting 17 homers with 41 RBIs in 101 games.

His journeys began on June 17, when he was traded to Tampa Bay and optioned to Triple-A Durham. Washington claimed him off waivers on August 23 and assigned him to Triple-A Rochester.

Ford elected free agency in November and signed six days after the lockout with the Mariners, a team with which he spent spring training in 2018 after being taken in the winter draft of players not protected – to be returned to the Yankees.

He hit .317 in 10 games at Tacoma, then was dealt to the Giants and hit a two-run single off Washington’s Steve Cishek in his only major league game, going 1-for-4 on May 1. . Assigned to Sacramento, he was 0 for 7 when he was sent back to Seattle.

Ford was with the River Cats in El Paso when he learned about the trade. He flew to his home in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday and then to New York a day later.

“I was pretty shocked when it happened,” he said. “I think it’s a good fit. That’s why I’m here.”

On Friday, he had a locker just outside the visitors’ clubhouse entrance and was assigned number 70.

“I’ve known Mike since he was in college,” said Seattle manager Scott Servais, whose son Tyler was a receiver/first baseman at Princeton alongside Ford. “If anyone can handle it, it’s Mike Ford. He will therefore give good shots. He is not scared. He just needs to get warm at the right time, and hopefully he can hold out.

Ford said some of his personal effects were still in transit from Sacramento. On the plus side, it accumulates frequent flyer miles.

“I’m going to have a few free vacations, I think, at the end of the year,” he said.

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