September 21, 2007. That's 1,774 days between hits for the former Twins fan favorite, who peaked with a .299/.381/.446 line, 15 homers, and 20 steals in 2004. In the five years in between, Lew played in Japan and Mexico, and for the Long Island Ducks. The Birds snapped him up earlier this season for organizational depth, and he responded by hitting .331/.390/.550 in 62 games at AAA Norfolk to earn a promotion back to the bigs.
To offer a little perspective on how long it's been since 2007: I hadn't started this blog yet. Three players from the '07 Orioles are still with the team: Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, and Jim Johnson. Take a look at the O's box score from September 21, 2007, a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Victor Santos and Rob Bell pitched, Tike Redman and Freddie Bynum shared center field duties, Brandon Fahey was replaced in left field by Luis Hernandez, and Gustavo Molina and Paul Bako combined to give Ramon Hernandez a day off from catching. Ugh. Even having lived through it, I sometimes forget just how bleak and pathetic the Orioles rosters were throughout the 2000s, especially once September hit.
As incredible and laughable as Lew Ford, Starting Left Fielder might seem in 2012, it's got nothing on Luis Hernandez and Freddie Bynum sharing real estate with poor Nick Markakis.