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Whitey Ford

Note: The following information has not been confirmed by the athlete, but is accurate to the best of our knowledge.

Contact Information (where autograph requests should be mailed to):

 

Contact Person and/or Name of Organization :  Whitey Ford

Address:   PO Box 160, Sea Cliff, NY 11579

 

Charity Information:

Name of charity or charities the donations go to  Whitey Ford Children's Foundation

 

Signing Habits:

1) If you sign items for free, what are the maximum number of items you will sign for free?  No

2) Do you answer questions sent by fans?  N/A

3) Do you prefer when fans send you their own pens/markers? N/A

4) What can fans do to make it easier for you to sign their items? N/A
 

Donation Charges:

 

Item Price Item Price
Cards $40 Flats up to 8x10 $50
Flats up to 16x20 $60 Baseballs $50
Magazines $60 Flats larger than 16x20  
Books $45 Gloves $75
Large Helmet   Bats $75
Jerseys $75 Inscriptions To add one of these Inscriptions to your item add:
HOF '74 $20
CY '61 $20
Other _________   Other _________  

  

Who should the check/money order be made out to: Whitey Ford Children's Museum

Payment can be made by: Cash,  Money Orders,  Cashier’s Checks

  

Biography

Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford (born October 21, 1928) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who spent his entire 18-year career for the New York Yankees.

****

Pitcher

Born: October 21, 1928 (1928-10-21) (age 79)
New York, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 1, 1950
for the New York Yankees
Final game
May 21, 1967
for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Win-Loss Record 236-106
Earned run average 2.75
Strikeouts 1,956
Teams
New York Yankees (1950-1967)

Career highlights and awards
8x All-Star selection (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1964)
6x World Series champion (1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962)
1961 Cy Young Award
1961 World Series MVP
3x AL TSN Pitcher of the Year (1955, 1961, 1963)
1961 Babe Ruth Award
New York Yankees #16 retired

Member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame
Elected 1974
Vote 77.81%

****

Early life and career
Ford was a native of the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, located in New York City just a few miles from Yankee Stadium over the Triborough Bridge.[1] Ford was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1947, and played his entire career in a Yankees uniform. He was given the nickname "Whitey" while in the minor leagues for his exceptionally blond hair.

Ford began his Major League Baseball career on July 1, 1950, with the Yankees and made a spectacular debut, winning his first nine decisions before losing a game in relief. Ford received a handful of lower-ballot Most Valuable Player votes despite throwing just 112 innings, and was voted the AL Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News. (Walt Dropo was the Rookie of Year choice of the BBWAA.)

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.


Pitching career
Eventually Ford went from the No. 4 pitcher on a great staff to the universally acclaimed No. 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. Nonetheless, Ford was an effective strikeout pitcher for his time, tying the then-AL record for six consecutive strikeouts in 1956, and again in 1958. Ford pitched 2 consecutive one-hit games in 1955 (he never pitched a no-hitter) to tie a record held by several pitchers.

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. Ford won the Cy Young Award in 1961; he likely would have won the 1963 AL Cy Young, but this was before the institution of a separate award for each league, and Ford could not match Sandy Koufax's numbers for the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League. He would also have been a candidate in 1955, but this was before the Award was created.

Some of Ford's numbers were depressed by Yankees manager Casey Stengel who viewed Ford as his top pitching asset, and often reserved his ace left-hander for more formidable opponents such as the Tigers, Indians and White Sox. When he became manager in 1961, Ralph Houk promised Ford he would pitch every fourth day, regardless of opponent; after exceeding 30 starts only once in his nine seasons under Stengel, Ford had 39 in 1961. A career-best 25-4 record and the Cy Young Award ensued, but Ford's season was overshadowed by the home-run battle between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. As a left-hander, Ford was also deft at keeping runners at their base: He set a record in 1961 by pitching 243 consecutive innings without allowing a stolen base.


Career Statistics
Ford won 236 games for New York (career 236-106), still a franchise 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. Other Yankee pitchers have had more career wins (for example, Roger Clemens notched his 300th career victory as a Yankee), but amassed them for multiple franchises. David Wells tied Whitey Ford for 13th place in victories by a lefhander on August 26, 2007.

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 Martínez ranked ahead of him; at the end of the 2006 season, Martinez stood at .691. In 1958, his career record stood at 100-36, the highest percentage for a pitcher with at least 100 wins. Ford's career percentage cannot be attributed solely to being on a good team: The Yankees were 1,486-1,027 during his 16 years; without his 236-106, they had 1,250 wins and 921 losses, for a won-loss percentage of .576. Ford was thus 114 percentage points higher than his team's record net of his record.

Ford's 2.75 earned run average is the lowest among starting pitchers whose careers began after the advent of the Live Ball Era in 1920. Ford's worst-ever ERA was 3.24. (Hoyt Wilhelm, primarily a reliever during his career, leads all post-1920 pitchers in ERA at 2.52.) Ford had 45 shutout victories in his career, including eight 1-0 wins.


World Series and All-Star games
Ford's status on the Yankees was underscored by the World Series. Ford was New York's Game One pitcher in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964. In 1960, Stengel altered this strategy by holding Ford back until Game Three, a decision that angered Ford. The Yankees' ace won both his starts in Games Three and Six with complete-game shutouts, but was then unavailable to relieve in the last game of a surprising Yankees loss. Ford always felt that had he been able to appear in three of the games instead of just two, the Yankees would have won. Upper management may have agreed: Stengel was fired following the Series.

For his career, Ford had 10 World Series victories, more than any other pitcher. Ford also leads all starters in World Series losses (8) and starts (22), as well as innings, hits, walks, and strikeouts. In 1961 he broke Babe Ruth's World Series record of 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. (The record would eventually reach 33 2/3, and stood for four decades until Mariano Rivera broke it in 2000.) Ford won the 1961 World Series MVP. In addition to Yankee Stadium, Ford also pitched World Series games in seven other stadiums:

Ebbets Field (1953 and 1956)
Milwaukee County Stadium (1957 and 1958)
Forbes Field (1960)
Crosley Field (1961)
Candlestick Park (1962)
Dodger Stadium (1963)
Busch Stadium (1964)
Ford also appeared on eight AL All-Star teams between 1954 and 1964. One NL batter who was always happy to see him was Willie Mays, who at one point had seven consecutive hits off Ford.


Retirement and legacy
Ford ended his career in declining health. In August 1966, he underwent surgery to correct a circulatory problem in his throwing shoulder. In May 1967, Ford lasted just one inning in what would be his final start, and he announced his retirement at the end of the month.

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 left-handed pitcher who reached the Hall of Fame, Lefty Gomez; Ford's plaque calls him "[o]ne of the greatest pitchers ever to step on a mound."

After his career ended, Ford admitted to occasionally cheating by doctoring baseballs in various ways, such as the "mudball," which could only be used at home in Yankee Stadium: Yankee groundskeepers would wet down an area near the catcher's box where Yankee catcher Elston Howard was positioned; pretending to lose balance on a pitch while in his crouch and landing on his right hand (with the ball in it), Howard would coat one side of the ball with mud. Ford would sometimes use the diamond in his wedding ring to gouge the ball, but he was eventually caught by an umpire and warned to stop; Howard then sharpened a buckle on his shinguard and used it to scuff the ball.

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


Trivia
At one point during the 1963 season, Ford pitched a shutout and announced he had given up smoking. He said, "My doctor told me that whenever I think of smoking, I should think of a bus starting up and blowing the exhaust in my face."

In 1977, Ford was part of the broadcast team for the first game in Toronto Blue Jays history.[2]

In 1994, a road in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) was named Ford Road in Ford's honour. This was in the north-central area of Mississauga known informally as "the baseball zone", as several streets in the area are named for hall-of-fame baseball players. [1]

In a 1997 episode of The Simpsons, "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson", an animated Ford was knocked unconscious by a barrage of pretzels at a baseball game after a controversial prize giveaway angered fans. Homer later suggested that Marge call her pretzels "Whitey Whackers."

In 1998, Grammy Award winning musician Everlast scored great success with his CD entitled Whitey Ford Sings the Blues.

In 2001, Ford was portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall in the HBO movie, 61*, a Billy Crystal film centered around Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle's 1961 quest to break Babe Ruth's single-season home-run record.

In 2002, Ford opened up "Whitey Ford's Cafe," a sports-themed restaurant and bar next to Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York.[3] A replica of the Yankee Stadium facade trimmed both the exterior and the bar, whose stools displayed uniform numbers of Yankee luminaries; replicas of Monument Park's retired uniform numbers lined the hallways, and widescreen TVs were present throughout. Memorabilia featured Bill Dickey's signed glove and John Blanchard's '61 World Series bat, as well as assorted Mickey Mantle mementos, along with jersey tops of Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Al Leiter, and Lee Mazzilli. The main dining area housed a panoramic display of Yankee Stadium from the 1950s, specifically a White Sox–Yankee game with Ford pitching and Mickey Mantle in center field; the Yanks are up 2-0. Waiters and waitresses dressed in Yankees road uniforms, with Ford's retired No. 16 on the back.[4] It lasted less than a year before it closed down.[5]

In 2003, Ford was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame.

Whitey Ford Graduated from Aviation High School.[6]

****

References
1^ Berkow, Ira. "ON BASEBALL; Ford Highlight Film Started Early", The New York Times, August 17, 2000. Accessed November 3, 2007. "Vivid in my memory is Stengel's shrug, palms up at his sides, gesturing in response to the mixture of cheers for Ford and boos for his removal. It was a display of sympathy for the kid from Astoria, Queens, who just a few years earlier was playing in street stickball games, and now under a national spotlight and World Series pressure had pitched so beautifully."
2^ Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.94, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
3^ Details of Whitey Ford's Cafe from Yahoo! Local.
4^ Peter M. Gianotti, Review of White Ford's Cafe from Newsday, 13 Oct 2002.
5^ Conversation with present owner of Gasho of Japan restaurant, former site of Whitey Ford's Cafe.
6^ "They Came from Queens", Queens Tribune. Accessed November 4, 2007. "He once lived in Little Neck and attended Aviation High School."

****
Source: Wikipedia.org at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitey_Ford


 

 

 

 

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Last modified: 04/28/09