The passing of a legendary Yankee, Whitney Ford


Whitey Ford of the Yankees pitching, 1950

Teuana Smith, Sports Reporter

According to the Associated Press, a family member reported that Hall of Famer, Whitey Ford had passed away on October 8th. Ford was 91 years old and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. He was the pitcher for the New York Yankees for 16 seasons.

Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford was born on October 21, 1928, and made his major league debut with the Yankees team in the 1950s after growing up in Queens. He quickly made his mark, not only on his team but in the entire league. Ford led his team to win six World Series titles and 11 American League pennants across his entire career. His peak years were 1961 and 1963. In 1961, he won the Cy Young Award and the World Series MVP after leading the team with 25 league wins. 

Two years later, he gained 24 wins putting him at the top of his league once more. 

Ford set the winning record for the Yankees with a total of 236-106. Over his time playing, he set the record winning percentage of .690, making him one of the best pitchers in the league. He deserved the title rightfully so, with his expert reputation within the World Series. He won the series ten times while being chosen as the Game 1 pitcher eight of those times. His skill broke down Babe Ruth’s consecutive scoreless innings with 33 and two-thirds pitches. Needless to say, Ford became a legend in MLB and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1974 along with Mickey Mantle. His number 16 jersey was retired that same year. 

Whitey Ford spends his last moments of life surrounded by family and watching his beloved Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS. He died peacefully in his Long Island home that night. He still holds the record for 22 World Series starts, 146 pitched innings, and 94 strikeouts. 

The New York Yankees released a statement on Twitter stating:

“The Yankees are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. Whitey spent his entire 16-year career as a Yankee. A 6x WS Champion and 10x All-Star, The Chairman of the Board was one of the best lefties to ever toe the rubber. He will be deeply missed.”