Friday, December 10, 2010

Is Darren Ford going to be the next Ron LeFlore?

What, you never heard of Ron LeFlore? Ron is one of the unique stories in the history of Major League Baseball, so much that CBS made a special TV movie about him titled, "One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore story." What's unique of Ron's story was that he was a career criminal and was incarcerated in the Michigan State Prison. It was there, that he picked up baseball and that Billy Martin saw him play a prison league game that led to a tryout with the Detroit Tigers. Long story short, he played in the bigs and achieved some degree of success, but his legal troubles haunted for the rest of his life.

Fast forward to Darren Ford, by now you've probably heard of his legal troubles regarding stolen money from his off season job at a car dealership and the false police report he filed back in 2009. Well, just two weeks after celebrating a World Championship, Ford was in a New Jersey Superior Court on Nov. 15 to enter the state's pre-trial intervention (PTI) program in an attempt to avoid prosecution. The review process on that application has two stages that can take up to 39 days in total to complete. Probation officials have 25 days from that request to recommend whether he should be accepted, then the county prosecutor's office has another 14 days to respond to that recommendation. The matter then moves to the judge for a decision. If his application is not accepted, then he will most likely will appear in Superior Court on Jan. 3 for the next step in the state's robbery case against him.

This is not a good situation for a promising 25-year old baseball player. What do you think? Does he receive a slap on the hand, or will he be an all-star in the New Jersey prison league?

Darren Ford (right)

Ron LeFlore - Tiger Stadium - Sept. 30, 1979

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