Last Thursday evening, Whitey Ford passed away at the age of 91 in his Long Island home surrounded by his family while watching his team play on the television. Although this is devastating news to baseball fans around the world, I honestly can't think of a better way to go.
2010 National Chicle Relics #NCR-WF
Unfortunately, I never had the honor of watching him play. He pitched his final MLB game five years before I was born. But I have a feeling that I would have rooted for him had I been born a decade or two earlier.
1960 Topps #35
I've always liked his personality and admired the fact that he stayed with the New York Yankees his entire career which spanned sixteen seasons over eighteen years. What happened the other two years? He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. What's not to like? Throw in the fact that he's a lefty and it doesn't get better than that.
2001 Topps Team Topps Legends Autographs #207
2001 Topps Archives Reserve Rookie Reprint Autographs #ARA2
2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-WF
Except it does. Ford is a Yankee legend and a World Series hero for their fans.
1956 Topps #240
According to this tribute video on ESPN, he received the nickname... Chairman of the Board because he was the guy you wanted on the mound for the big game. He was great under pressure.
2003 Topps Tribute World Series Subway Series Fan Fare Tokens #SSF-WF
2002 Topps Heritage Grandstand Glory #GG-WF
He pitched 33⅔ consecutive innings in the World Series without allowing a run, which is still a record to this day. He also holds the record for most World Series wins (10), starts (22), innings pitched (146), and strikeouts (94).
1962 Topps Bucks #NNO
During those sixteen seasons with the New York Yankees, he pitched in eleven different World Series and won titles in 1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962.
1967 Topps #5
The New York Yankees are the most successful franchise in MLB history and Ford is their all-time leader in wins (236), innings pitched (3,170⅓), games started (tied w/Andy Pettite), and shutouts (45).
In that regards, he's the best of the best.
Rest in peace Whitey. Although if what they say in that video is true... I'm sure Billy and Mickey met you at the gates with a case of cold beer and you're still partying five days later. But when you're ready... enjoy your rest. You have earned it.
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!