SINCLAIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE: News: JOE FORD - ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

JOE FORD - ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Twenty-year-old shortstop Joe Ford said he came to Sinclair because he wanted to win—and he’s done just that.

“The year that I committed, Sinclair was ranked number five in the nation,” Ford said. “I wanted to win and they were winning.”

In the two seasons Ford has been with the Tartan Pride, the team’s overall record is a combined 70-27 (.720 win percentage) in the regular season.

The Ohio Community College Athletic Conference named Ford “Player of the Week” for the week of April 10-16. Ford is batting .327 on the season, which is third on the team among everyday players. He is also fielding 1.000 in conference games according to Head Coach Steve Dintaman. Ford said that the sure-handedness could be attributed to the cold nights he spent with his father inside the construction warehouse where his dad worked.

“My dad used to hit me groundballs, and we did that almost every night in the winter,” Ford said. “It really helped develop my game.”

Not only has Ford been reliable in the field, but he has been durable as well. This season Ford has not missed a game—somewhat of an accomplishment considering how injury riddled the team has been this season.

“I’ve never been on a team where we’ve had so many injuries,” Ford said. “But guys have stepped up and everybody’s contributing and doing their part.”

And as for Ford stepping up, being a sophomore on the Pride means you are thought of as a leader, but Ford said he is not your typical leader.

“I’m more of a lead by example type of guy,” Ford said. “I’m not going to get in peoples faces or whatever, but I try to do the right things, work hard, to show the freshmen—that’s how we do it here. We get in the weight room, we get in the cage, and we get in the books.”

Ford has experienced two conference championships while at Sinclair, but insists that one stands out more than the other.

“It’s always exciting, but this year is better because we got to win it on our home field,” Ford said. “Last year we didn’t get the opportunity to do it at Grady’s [Field], so this year it’s a little more special.”

Although Ford has had recent success with Sinclair, Things have not always been as easy. When in high school, he had a disheartening experience as a member of the Grove City Greyhounds. His team was ranked #2 in the state but lost in the first game of the regional tournament. That feeling, Ford said, has stuck with him ever since.

“It’s not a good feeling,” Ford said.

This feeling was actually relived last season as the Pride was eliminated prematurely in the NJCAA Region 12 Tournament. So for the forthcoming tournament, Ford said he is ready for his chance at redemption.

“I haven’t really said anything to the guys yet, and I don’t know what I’ll say to them, but I will for sure let them know that they don’t want to feel what we felt last year. Hopefully we can get over the hump this year and win four games at regional's and go on to the World Series,” Ford said. “Once you get there, who knows what can happen.”

Ford is majoring in Liberal Arts but said that he would like to study Criminal Justice and could see himself as a police officer after his baseball career is over.  He will continue his education and baseball career next year at Wright State University.


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