Ford, 54, was at a gas station in Fenton, Mo., a suburb south of St. Louis, when he and another man approached the same gas pump, according to the Dispatch. Ford backed up and used a different pump. The other man, identified by police as James Street, 37, drove past the pump and parked in front of the store.
Street got out of his car and began yelling racial slurs at Ford, but Ford did not confront him. "Go back to Ferguson you [racial slur]," Street said, referring to the nearby city that was the site of racial tensions this summer, a police source told the Dispatch.
Street entered the store and exited as Ford was walking in to pay for his gas. Street "approached Ford, and unprovoked, punched him in the face, and drove away, according to police," the Dispatch reported.
Street was arrested and charged with assault motivated by discrimination in the third degree.
Ford told the Dispatch the incident has made him consider leaving the St. Louis area.
Ford played 406 major-league games from 1985–‘90. He played his first four seasons with the Cardinals and two with the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Dan Gartland