Top Mariners prospect ‘Sir’ Harry Ford youngest with 2 HRs in WBC

Mar 13, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:24 pm
Mariners Harry Ford...
Mariners prospect Harry Ford of Team Great Britain reacts after hitting a home run on March 12, 2023. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Mariners have had a King. Now they have a Sir.

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For the second time in as many days Monday, top Mariners prospect Harry Ford was “knighted” at Chase Field after homering for Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic.

This second home run was a pretty big one. With the Brits in desperate need of a win to keep their hopes of advancing out of pool play alive, Ford hammered a solo shot way out to left field that pushed his team’s surprising lead over Colombia to 7-3. With how pitching and defense has gone for Great Britain in the tournament, any run is important, and that proved to be true as the final insurance run provided by Ford helped Great Britain hang on for the eventual 7-5 victory.

That 7-5 victory, by the way? The first in WBC history for Great Britain, who Ford played a big part in helping earn its first-ever spot in the tournament with his performance in the qualifying last year (more on that later).

Following the homer, a number of potential nicknames for the “sneaky British” Ford (he grew up in Georgia but both of his parents were born in England) starting appearing online – “Prince Harry” and “Lord Ford,” for instance. But based on Great Britain’s home run celebration where the player is playfully knighted complete with a crown, a robe and a toy sword, “Sir” Harry Ford seems to fit best. Both the official MLB and Mariners Twitter accounts seem to agree.

Ford, who went 2 for 4 at the plate Monday, also crushed a three-run homer that kept Great Britain competitive with Canada on Sunday. That made it 10-8 in the fourth inning, though Canada eventually pulled away for an 18-8 mercy rule victory.

At just 20 years old, Ford is the first player in the history of the World Baseball Classic to hit two home runs prior to their 21st birthday, according to MLB’s Sarah Langs.

Ford, who in addition to hitting cleanup is serving as the catcher for Great Britain, was the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft by Seattle and is the Mariners’ No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

This isn’t the first time Ford has turned heads on the international stage, and in fact it’s not the first time homers by Ford have been important for his team. In WBC qualifying last year, he homered in three consecutive games to help Great Britain find its way into the 2023 tournament.

Ford spent last season with the Modesto Nuts, a Single-A affiliate of the Mariners. In 104 games, he slashed .274/.425/.439 for an .863 OPS with 11 homers, 23 stolen bases, 88 walks, 65 RBIs and 89 runs scored, splitting time between catcher and designated hitter.

Ford and Great Britain will wrap up Pool C competition at Phoenix’s Chase Field at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Mexico (1-1).

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