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Whitey Ford

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Full Name: Edward Charles Ford Primary Position: P
Height/Weight: 5' 10"/178 First Game: July 1, 1950
Birthdate: October 21, 1926 Final Game: May 21, 1967
Birthplace: New York, New York MLB Experience: 16 years
Bat/Throw: Left/Left
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Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974


Biography

Born on October 21, 1926 in New York, New York, Whitey Ford (Edward Charles Ford) played for the New York Yankees for his entire 16 year career. Ford broke into the bigs on July 1, 1950 with the New York Yankees, and put up a 2.81 ERA in 112 innings pitched in 1950, his rookie year. Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford (born October 21, 1928) was a Major League Baseball pitcher.

A native of New York City, Ford was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1947. He was given the nickname "Whitey" while in the minor leagues for his blond, almost white, hair.

He began his Major League Baseball career on July 1, 1950, with the Yankees. In 1951 and 1952 he served in the Army during the Korean War. He rejoined the Yankees for the 1953 season, and the Yankee "Big Three" pitching staff became a "Big Four," as Ford joined Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi, and Eddie Lopat.

Eventually he went from the #4 pitcher on a great staff to the universally-acclaimed #1 pitcher of the Yankees, becoming known as the "Chairman of the Board" for his ability to remain calm and in command during high-pressure situations. He was also known as "Slick" for his craftiness on the mound, necessary because he did not have an overwhelming fastball, but being able to throw several other pitches very well gave him pinpoint control.

In 1955, he led the American League in complete games and games won; in 1956 in earned run average and winning percentage; in 1958, in earned run average; and in both 1961 and 1963, in games won and winning percentage. In 1961 he broke Babe Ruth's World Series record of 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings (the record would eventually reach 32 2/3), and won the Cy Young Award. He played his entire 16-year career as a Yankee, retiring in 1967.

He won 236 games, still a Yankee career record. Red Ruffing, the previous Yankee record-holder, still leads all Yankee right-handed pitchers, with 231 of his 273 career wins coming with the Yankees. Roger Clemens notched his 300th career victory as a Yankee, but pitched for the Yankees only five seasons with 77 wins.

Among pitchers with at least 300 career decisions, Ford ranks first with a winning percentage of .690. Among those with at least 200 decisions, only Pedro Martinez ranked ahead of him at the end of the 2005 season, at .701. Among starting pitchers whose careers began after the advent of the Live Ball Era in 1920, Whitey's 2.75 earned-run average is second to Martinez's 2.72. Hoyt Wilhelm, mainly a reliever during his career, leads all post-1920 pitchers in ERA at 2.52.

After his career ended, Ford admitted to occasionally cheating by damaging baseballs. He would sharpen his belt buckle to use it to scuff the ball, and would sometimes use the diamond in his wedding ring.

Ford wore number 19 in his rookie season. Following his return from the army in 1953, he wore number 16 for the remainder of his career. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1974 with his longtime pal and Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle. At that time, the Yankees retired his number 16. On August 2, 1987, the Yankees dedicated plaques for Monument Park at Yankee Stadium for Ford and another lefthanded pitcher who reached the Hall of Fame, Lefty Gomez. Ford's plaque calls him "One of the greatest pitchers ever to step on a mound."

In 1999, he ranked number 52 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.


Statistics

Pitching Stats

Year Team G GS W L ERA K R ER CG SHO SV IP H HR BB IB WP HBP
1950 NY A 20 12 9 1 2.81 59 39 35 7 2 1 112 87 7 52 0 3 2
1953 NY A 32 30 18 6 3.00 110 77 69 11 3 0 207 187 13 110 0 3 4
1954 NY A 34 28 16 8 2.82 125 72 66 11 3 1 210.2 170 10 101 0 1 1
1955 NY A 39 33 18 7 2.63 137 83 74 18 5 2 253.2 188 20 113 7 7 1
1956 NY A 31 30 19 6 2.47 141 70 62 18 2 1 225.2 187 13 84 3 6 4
1957 NY A 24 17 11 5 2.57 84 46 37 5 0 0 129.1 114 10 53 3 2 1
1958 NY A 30 29 14 7 2.01 145 62 49 15 7 1 219.1 174 14 62 3 5 3
1959 NY A 35 29 16 10 3.04 114 82 69 9 2 1 204 194 13 89 5 5 1
1960 NY A 33 29 12 9 3.08 85 76 66 8 4 0 192.2 168 15 65 5 5 1
1961 NY A 39 39 25 4 3.21 209 108 101 11 3 0 283 242 23 92 3 8 1
1962 NY A 38 37 17 8 2.90 160 90 83 7 0 0 257.2 243 22 69 1 5 4
1963 NY A 38 37 24 7 2.74 189 94 82 13 3 1 269.1 240 26 56 3 9 2
1964 NY A 39 36 17 6 2.13 172 67 58 12 8 1 244.2 212 10 57 3 6 2
1965 NY A 37 36 16 13 3.24 162 97 88 9 2 1 244.1 241 22 50 2 7 1
1966 NY A 22 9 2 5 2.47 43 33 20 0 0 0 73 79 8 24 6 1 0
1967 NY A 7 7 2 4 1.64 21 11 8 2 1 0 44 40 2 9 0 2 0
Total 498 438 236 106 2.75 1956 1107 967 156 45 10 3170.1 2766 228 1086 44 75 28

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1950 NY A P 20 0 0 7 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1953 NY A P 32 0 0 8 35 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 .977
1954 NY A P 34 0 0 7 39 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 .958
1955 NY A P 39 0 0 10 41 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .981
1956 NY A P 31 0 0 9 57 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1957 NY A P 24 17 129.1 6 28 2 5 0 1 2 2 0 .944
1958 NY A P 30 29 219.1 7 44 6 2 0 2 0 7 6 .895
1959 NY A P 35 29 204 15 49 1 5 0 1 0 3 3 .985
1960 NY A P 33 29 192.2 12 38 1 2 0 1 3 4 4 .980
1961 NY A P 39 39 283 12 45 5 5 0 2 0 3 4 .919
1962 NY A P 38 37 257.2 25 58 3 4 0 0 2 4 2 .965
1963 NY A P 38 37 269.1 20 38 5 3 0 1 3 4 5 .921
1964 NY A P 39 36 244.2 18 47 1 2 0 0 0 1 3 .985
1965 NY A P 37 36 244.1 7 53 0 4 0 3 6 4 1 1.000
1966 NY A P 22 9 73 7 26 4 2 0 1 4 0 3 .892
1967 NY A P 7 7 44 3 15 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1.000
Total P 498 305 2161.1 173 630 33 49 0 13 20 32 31 .961

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1950 NY A 20 36 2 7 0 3 .194 .275 .194 0 0 4 4 0 4 0 0 1
1953 NY A 33 75 10 20 0 10 .267 .345 .293 2 0 9 13 0 1 0 0 3
1954 NY A 34 62 7 10 0 7 .161 .264 .177 1 0 9 15 0 7 0 0 0
1955 NY A 39 86 9 14 1 7 .163 .258 .198 0 0 11 16 0 3 0 0 1
1956 NY A 31 78 9 17 0 4 .218 .299 .244 2 0 9 14 0 5 0 0 0
1957 NY A 24 42 4 6 0 2 .143 .200 .143 0 0 3 7 0 5 0 0 0
1958 NY A 30 73 10 15 0 2 .205 .266 .219 1 0 5 10 1 5 0 0 1
1959 NY A 35 65 6 15 1 6 .231 .351 .338 4 0 12 11 0 3 0 0 0
1960 NY A 33 53 4 8 0 3 .151 .274 .189 2 0 9 14 0 4 0 0 0
1961 NY A 39 96 11 17 0 10 .177 .266 .188 1 0 12 17 0 5 0 0 1
1962 NY A 38 85 5 10 0 5 .118 .198 .141 2 0 8 22 1 3 1 0 0
1963 NY A 38 92 5 13 1 4 .141 .194 .196 2 0 6 22 0 5 2 0 2
1964 NY A 39 67 5 8 0 2 .119 .244 .134 1 0 10 23 1 7 0 0 0
1965 NY A 38 82 4 15 0 4 .183 .230 .195 1 0 5 26 0 6 0 0 0
1966 NY A 22 18 0 0 0 0 .000 .053 .000 0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 1
1967 NY A 7 13 0 2 0 0 .154 .154 .154 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 0 0
Total 500 1023 91 177 3 69 .173 .256 .200 19 0 113 224 3 65 3 0 10

Transactions

  • Signed as an amateur free agent by New York Yankees (1947).

Trivia

In the 1961 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Ford snapped Babe Ruth's streak of 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play (it would eventually reach 33 2/3). During the regular season, teammate Roger Maris had broken Ruth's single season home run record.

External links


See also

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