Ford driven to succeed

Daily Pilot Baseball Dream Team

Brian Ford, who excelled for Corona del Mar, is the Dream Team Player of the Year in baseball.

July 04, 2011|David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Daily Pilot File…)

On his way to watch Brian Ford play in his final high school baseball game last month, Corona del Mar Coach John Emme talked about Ford's future.

Emme knows Ford has a bright one at UC Davis, where he plans to play for the men's soccer program. But Emme believes baseball can lead Ford to a brighter one.

To Emme, Ford can easily play baseball on the next level, not just in college. He thinks Ford has the potential to make a living playing baseball.

Emme said he talked to Ford about baseball before he played in last month's Orange County All-Star baseball game for seniors in Anaheim. He told Ford to consider the sport at UC Davis because he has the tools, the speed and arm in the outfield, a sweet and short swing at the plate, to play baseball at a high level.

Ford can be a two-sport star in college. He showed it as a senior at CdM.


How many athletes can end a successful long boys' soccer season, and then in two days turn around and join a baseball team and continue to excel?

Not many, but that is exactly what Ford proved was possible. On the soccer field, he struck a ball with his feet almost as beautifully as he struck a baseball with a bat in his hands.

Ford was one of the top soccer players in the area this season, but he wasn't the best.

In baseball, Ford was No. 1 and that is why he is the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year. Ford can flat out play baseball.

Emme wonders how much better Ford could be if he just concentrated on baseball.

Ford displayed his talents as a leadoff hitter and center fielder. He batted .444 with 10 doubles, swiped 15 bases in 17 attempts, and ran underneath balls in the outfield that should have gone for extra-base hits.

Ford did it all against stiff competition. Two of the teams reaching the CIF Southern Section Division III title game were Beckman and Woodbridge and they played in the Pacific Coast League with the Sea Kings.

The only setback for Ford this season was his team failed to reach the playoffs for only the second time in Emme's 14 years in charge. The league, the CIF and the all-star committees still recognized Ford's abilities, naming him first-team all-league, second-team All-CIF, and to two all-star games.

Ford was also the Pacific Coast League Male Athlete of the Year. In soccer, he earned first-team all-league, first-team All-CIF, and second-team All-American ESPN RISE honors.

He starred on two fields, one as a center fielder and another as a midfielder.

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