The Yankees announced Ford’s passing on Friday, 12 days shy of what would have been Ford’s birthday. They said he died on Thursday night, surrounded by family while watching the Yankees’ Division Series game against the Rays.
“Today all of Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Whitey Ford, a New York City native who became a legend for his hometown team,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Whitey earned his status as the ace of some of the most memorable teams in our sport’s rich history. Beyond the Chairman of the Board’s excellence on the mound, he was a distinguished ambassador for our National Pastime throughout his life. I extend my deepest condolences to Whitey’s family, his friends and admirers throughout our game, and all fans of the Yankees.”
“Whitey’s name and accomplishments are forever stitched into the fabric of baseball’s rich history,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “He was a treasure, and one of the greatest of Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes. Beyond the accolades that earned him his rightful spot within the walls of the Hall of Fame, in so many ways he encapsulated the spirit of the Yankees teams he played for and represented for nearly two decades.
“Whitey was New York tough. When you couple that with his dedicated service to our country, a deep love for the only team he ever played for, six World Championships, and a genuine personality and charisma that showed throughout his life, it’s no wonder he endeared himself as a legend to generations of Yankees fans everywhere.
“While there is comfort knowing Whitey was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing while watching his favorite team compete, this is a tremendous loss to the Yankees and the baseball community. We have lost our ‘Chairman of the Board,’ and we extend our deepest condolences to the entire Ford family.”
The left-hander — nicknamed “The Chairman of the Board” by batterymate Elston Howard — went 236-106 with a 2.75 ERA during his 16 years with New York, winning his only Cy Young Award in 1961. Ford, whose .690 winning percentage is the highest of any pitcher with at least 150 victories in the Modern Era, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
“I grew up on Long Island, not too far from Yankee Stadium,” Ford said during his Hall of Fame induction. “I was a Yankee fan since I was five or six years old. To think when I was 21 years old I’d be playing with [Joe] DiMaggio and [Yogi] Berra against guys like Stan Musial and Roy Campanella, it’s just something I can’t fathom. It’s just been great.”
Here is the Hardball PODCAST from early 2000 . . . .
Notable Events and Chronology for Whitey Ford Career
At Griffith Stadium, Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees pitches a 14-inning, 1 – 0 shutout against the Washington Senators, giving up 8 hits while striking out 15. The Yankees win in the first half of the 14th inning on a Moose Skowron solo home run – the longest contest in major league history ending 1 – 0 on a home run.