Lew Ford helped Ducks win Atlantic League championships in 2012,...

Lew Ford helped Ducks win Atlantic League championships in 2012, 2013 and 2019 and his 1,036 hits are the most in team history. Credit: George A Faella

The Ducks have their new manager, and they didn’t need to look far to find him.

The Ducks announced longtime player Lew Ford as the team’s new manager in a statement Wednesday.

Ford, 47, played 13 seasons with the Ducks, the longest tenure of any player who’s worn a Ducks jersey.

“I’m excited,” Ford said. “I’ve had a lot of support from former teammates, friends and family, and it’s just been very exciting the last couple hours.”

Ford spent the last nine years of his Ducks career as a player and the team’s hitting or bench coach. He helped the Ducks win Atlantic League championships in 2012, 2013 and 2019.

His 1,036 hits are the most in team history and rank third all-time in the Atlantic League. Ford is second in Ducks all-time batting average (.318), games played (877), RBIs (511), runs (549), doubles (227) and total bases (1,541).

“Lew has been an outstanding representative of the Ducks organization over the past 15 years,” Ducks founder/CEO/owner Frank Boulton said in a statement. “He earned this opportunity, and we are very excited to have him guiding our team on the field.”

Ford is the seventh manager in Ducks history, taking over for Wally Backman, who managed the team for the last five years.

Ford said he learned a lot from former Ducks managers Backman and Kevin Baez, as well as Ron Gardenhire and Buck Showalter, who managed Ford during his five seasons with the Minnesota Twins and one season with the Baltimore Orioles, respectively.

“I’m going to work hard. The goal is to win a championship,” Ford said. “You make things happen, you play good defense and you have pitchers that throw strikes with a good bullpen. That’s the goal this year, and I think if we can do that, we’ll be at the end competing for that championship.”

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