As the Ducks took the field in the deciding fifth game of the 2012 Atlantic League Championship Series last October, Lew Ford was following the team from the clubhouse -- the home clubhouse at Camden Yards, that is.
Ford was sitting among his then-Orioles teammates, waiting out a delay before the start of Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees, tracking the Ducks game online as long as he could before his game began.
Ford began last season with the Ducks but was signed by the Orioles in May, and while he had the thrill of experiencing Baltimore's run to the postseason, he ultimately missed out on winning a championship -- both with the Orioles, who lost to the Yankees in five games, and the Ducks, who won the Atlantic League title without him.
Now, as the Ducks look to defend their crown with the best-of-five championship series against Somerset beginning at home Wednesday night, Ford wants to make sure he doesn't miss any of the excitement this time around.
"After the game we had with Baltimore, I came inside and checked my phone and they had won it, and I called up some of the guys and talked to them. I really felt like I was a part of the team last year even though I wasn't here," Ford said. "I would love to be on the field winning a championship."
Ford is in his fourth season with the Ducks, having played for the team during parts of the 2009, 2011 and 2012 campaigns. He re-signed with the Ducks on Aug. 27 after starting the season in the Orioles' minor-league system, and in 17 regular-season games on Long Island hit .377 with seven RBIs and 11 runs. In the Liberty Division Championship Series against Southern Maryland last week, he went 4-for-10 in the Ducks' three-game sweep.
"When we first knew he was coming back here, I was elated," Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. "Last year he's playing in the playoffs against the Yankees and this year he's in the playoffs with us ... He had a great thrill last year in the big leagues but I know his thoughts were with us, hoping we'd do well here, and now he's here enjoying the moment."