Yankees legend, six-time World Series champion Whitey Ford dies at 91

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·3 mins read

Hall of Fame pitcher and six-time World Series champion Whitey Ford has died, the New York Yankees announced. He was 91.

Ford, known as “The Chairman of the Board,” spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees from 1950 to 1967. The lefty was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Ford would have turned 92 on Oct. 21. He was a 10-time All-Star with a 236-106 record over his career and a 2.75 ERA.

“The Yankees are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Whitey Ford," the Yankees said in a statement. “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.”

Ford had been the second-oldest living Hall of Famer since Red Schoendienst died in June 2018, per the Yankees. Tommy Lasorda is the oldest at 93.

Ford winningest Yankee in history

Whitey Ford in the foreground with the fences of Yankees Stadium in the back.
New York Yankees' Whitey Ford is introduced at the Yankees Old Timers' Day baseball game Sunday, June 17, 2018, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Ford’s 236 victories are the most in club history and his .690 winning percentage is the highest of any pitcher with at least 150 wins in the 20th century.

The Queens native also holds the record for most World Series victories (10) and World Series strikeouts (94). He has a record streak of 33 1/3 scoreless innings in a World Series.

Ford is at or near the top of the Yankees record books in a host of other categories. He’s first in innings pitched (3,170 1/3) and tied with Andy Pettitte for most games started (438). He ranks second in strikeouts (1,956) and first in shutouts (45).

Award-winner throughout career

Ford signed an amateur free agent contract worth $7,000 with the Yankees in 1947 and rose up the ranks of the minor leagues. He began playing for the major-league squad in June 1950 at the age of 21. He went 9-1 with a 2.81 ERA and helped win a second straight title under manager Casey Stengel. Ford finished second in that year’s AL Rookie of the Year voting.

Ford served in the military for the next two years and returned to the Yankees in 1953. He helped pitch the Yankees to yet another title, which gave New York a record five in a row.

After years of limited use by Stengel, Ford was given more time on the mound beginning in 1961 with the hiring of manager Ralph Houk. He went out every fourth day, going 25-4 en route to the Cy Young Award. The Yankees won the championship that year and in 1962.

In 1961 he was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

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