Prosecutors: Ex-Cardinal punched in race-related attack near St. Louis

Curt Ford with the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1989 season.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Prosecutors say a white St. Louis-area man was driven by racism when he allegedly punched former Cardinals outfielder Curt Ford.

St. Louis County prosecutors have charged 37-year-old James Street of Fenton with felony third-degree assault motivated by discrimination.

The 54-year-old Ford, who is black, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was walking into a Fenton convenience store Wednesday when he was punched in the face without warning after Street shouted racial slurs at him.

"I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation, but I’ve had enough of St. Louis," Ford told the Post-Dispatch. "You hear about this kind of stuff happening, and I always knew it existed because of my previous experience working here in St. Louis, but you try to keep away from it and there is just no way you can do that unless you stay inside like a hermit."

Fenton is a St. Louis suburb within St. Louis County.

"I was sucker-punched, blindsided," Ford said. 

Street allegedly told Ford to "Go back to Ferguson, you (racial slur)," according to a police source.

Online court records don’t show whether Street has an attorney. He doesn’t have a listed home phone number.

Ford, 54, played for the Cardinals from 1985-88 after being selected by the team in the fourth round of the 1981 amateur draft. Ford played his final two seasons with the Phillies from 1989-90.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.