Robert Ford Garrison was born on August 29, 1915, in Greenville, South Carolina. He attended the Sans Souci Elementary School in Greenville and Parker High School, where he earned 12 letters, in baseball, basketball, football, and track.

He’d anticipated a career in railroading, but was active in semipro baseball in the area, and had batted over .400 in 1937. The Yankees gave him a tryout and signed him in the fall of 1937.

In 1938 he was assigned to the Amsterdam (New York) Rugmakers in the Class-C Canadian-American League. His next two seasons were in Class B, for the South Atlantic League’s Augusta Tigers. He picked up three points each season, batting .330 in 1939 and .333 in 1940. He was sent to Binghamton for 1941, but the Binghamton team sold his contract to Fort Worth in 1942.

In August 1942, the Boston Red Sox bought his contract for delivery after the season. He hit .279 for the Red Sox in 1943, though without a home run. When he had trained with the Red Sox in spring training at Tufts College, he let it be known that he had never seen a major-league baseball game. Well, he saw his first in April at Shibe Park. All in all, though, he got off to a rough start with the Red Sox. Through 19 games in June he was batting .148 and was sent to Louisville on option. 

There Ford rose to the occasion, hitting for a .324 average in 99 games. That earned him a call back to Boston in September. And starting in his first game back, he went on a nine-game hitting streak, with 18 hits in the nine games, doubling his average to .295. Naturally, he couldn’t stay that hot forever, but he finished the season with a respectable .279 batting average and 11 RBIs in 136 plate appearances.

In mid-April of 1944, just before the season began, the Red Sox plan was to move George Metkovich to first base, and have Ford play right field. Manager Joe Cronin thought his speed and power would help the ball club. He doubled three times, but those were his only extra-base hits among the even dozen he hit for the Red Sox, before his May trade to the Athletics.

For the Athletics, he got a lot of playing time. He started the 1945 season with Philadelphia, but then was taken into the U.S. Navy in April at the Bainbridge Naval Training Center. He did play some baseball for Bainbridge in the summer of 1945. With the war over for almost six months, Ford was discharged in February 1946.

He started the 1946 season with the Athletics and appeared in nine April games. In May, his contract was sold to the New York Yankees’ farm club at Newark.

His time playing in the majors was done, but he enjoyed a long career playing minor-league baseball through 1956. In his last two seasons, 1955 and 1956, he was player-manager for Harlingen and Beaumont in the Big State League.

In the off-seasons, he had worked as a carpenter in the area around Gulfport, Florida. After baseball, he went into the building maintenance business, naming his Pinellas Park, Florida, company Ford Garrison’s Building Maintenance.

Ford Garrison passed away at age 85, on June 6, 2001, in Largo, Florida.