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Whitey Ford

Whitey Ford

Hall of Fame pitcher, Whitey Ford.

Position(s):
P
Nicknames:
The Chairman of the Board, Slick
Born:
October 21, 1928
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
5' 10"
Weight:
178 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-01-1950 with NYA
Allstar Selections:
1955 TSN, 1961 BR, 1961 CY, 1961 TSN, 1961 WsMVP, 1963 TSN
Hall of Fame:
1974

Intro

Whitey Ford was Casey Stengel's designated big game pitcher, though curiously he never pitched a crucial seventh game of the World Series, despite the fact that the Yanks played seven of them during his career. A close buddy of Mickey Mantle, Ford was known as "The Chairman of the Board." He won 10 of his 22 World Series starts, including two games in a series three times. He entered the Hall of Fame with Mantle.

Unform Number

#19 (1950), #16 (1953-1967)

Quotes From

"Army life was rough. Would you believe it - they actually wanted me to pitch three times a week."

Replaced By

Rookie Fritz Peterson became the Yankees' new lefty in 1966, as Ford finished his career as a starter.

Best Season

While Maris and Mantle were making news for busting fences with home runs, Ford led the Yankee pitching staff on one of the greatest teams of all-time. He led the AL with a 25-4 record and 283 innings pitched. He posted a 3.21 ERA, good enough to win with the vaunted Bomber offense. He was awarded the Cy Young award, and followed it up with the World Series MVP as well, on the strength of two wins, six hits allowed in 14 innings, and a 0.00 ERA.

Factoid 1

Whitey Ford started more games (22), pitched more innings (146), gave up more hits (134), struck out more batters (94), walked more batters (34), and won more games (10), than any other pitcher in World Series history. He also lost eight games - the most ever.

Factoid 2

In Whitey Ford's eight World Series losses, the Yankees scored just 18 runs for him — an average of 2.25 per game. In two contests the Yanks were shutout.

Strengths

His willingness and ability to skirt the rules. Ford was a master at doctoring the baseball. He bragged that he could cut a baseball in more ways than any other pitcher. Ford sharpened the edges of his wedding ring and used it to cut slices in the ball, as well as the buckle on his belt. He also had his catchers, including Elston Howard, sharpen their belt buckles. One of his most famous inventions was a "gunk ball" which he loaded with a mixture of baby oil, resin, and turpentine. Several other pitchers, teammates and opponents, claim that Ford taught them how to throw the spitball and cutball.

Weaknesses

No glaring weaknesses.

Sudden Impact

In baseball history, these pitchers had the most wins in their first 100 decisions for their new teams: Pedro Martinez, Red Sox 78-22, .780 (1998-2002) Bill Hoffer, Orioles 76-24, .760 (1895-1897) Cy Young, Red Sox 75-25, .750 (1901-1903) Whitey Ford, Yankees 74-26, .740 (1950-1956) Dwight Gooden, Mets 74-26, .740 (1984-1988)

Lost Seasons

Whitey Ford won nine of ten decisions in his 1950 rookie season. But he spent the next two seasons in the military, before returning for the '53 campaign.

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Tagged:
1950 World Series, 1961 World Series, 1962 World Series, 1963 World Series, 1964 World Series, All-Star, Allie Reynolds, Casey Stengel, Cy Young Award, Ed Lopat, Hall of Fame, Jim Turner, Johnny Blanchard, Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees, Ralph Houk, Vic Raschi, Whitey Ford

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