#16. Whitey Ford. 1928-2020.

Yesterday morning, the sad news came that the greatest pitcher in Yankees’ history, Whitey Ford, passed away Thursday evening. Ford was 13 days short of his 92nd birthday.

Ford pitched for the Yanks in 1950 (when he wore #19), then 1953-1967 (wearing the now retired #16). He missed 1951 and 1952 due to Army service during the Korean Conflict.

Ford is the all-time Yankees’ leader in wins (Pettitte had more overall wins, but Andy spent three years in Houston, so his Yankees’ total is less than Ford’s), innings pitched, shutouts (45). He and Pettitte are tied for most starts by a Yankees’ pitcher.

Ford has the highest winning percentage for any pitcher post-1900 who had 200 or more wins (Clayton Kershaw is higher right now, but with 175 wins).

Ford was a 10x All-Star who pitched for 11 AL Pennant winners and 6 World Champions. He has World Series records for most wins (10), losses (8), games started (22), and once threw 33 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in WS play.

With expanded playoffs, and more chances to get knocked out of those playoffs before reaching the World Series, his WS records for wins, losses and games started may stand forever.

He led the league in wins 3x (1955, 1961, 1963) MLB in 1961
25 wins 1961, 24 in 1963
Led league in winning percentage 1956, 1961, 1963 (MLB 1961)
Led all of MLB in ERA 1956, 1958
Led league in Games started 1961, 1963 (MLB 1961)
Led league in complete games 1955 with 18
Led league in shutouts 1958, 1960 (MLB 1958)
Led league in innings pitched 1961, 1963 (MLB 1961)
Led MLB in ERA+ 1958

Won CYA 1961 when only one award was given for all of MLB (25-4, 3.21). Of course, his great 1961 season was overshadowed by his teammates, Maris and Mantle in their HR chase.

1961 World Series MVP.

Besides 1961 CYA, finished 3rd in 1956 and 3rd in 1963.

Got MVP consideration 9x, finished 5th in 1961 (Maris) and 3rd in 1963 (Howard). Two top-five MVP years for a pitcher is something.

236-106, ERA 2.75. ERA+ 133 (33% above league average for time he pitched).

162 game average 17-8, 2.75.

10-8 in 22 World Series starts. 2.71 ERA

As a hitter, hit .173 with 3 HR. 4 for 49 in WS play.

He was a second ballot Hall-of-Famer, getting 67% his first year but 77.8% (75% needed) his second year. In a way it was nice because with his 1974 induction, he went in at the same time as teammate Mickey Mantle.

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