New York Yankees legend and Hall of Fame lefty Whitey Ford has died, the Bronx Bombers announced on Friday. He was to turn 92 years old on Oct. 21.
Ford, affectionately known as the “Chairman of the Board,” debuted in 1950 and pitched all 16 of his seasons with the Yankees. He notched 236 career wins, more than any pitcher in Yankees history, and was a six-time World Series winner named to 10 All-Star squads from 1950 through 1964.
In a statement shared by the Yankees, commissioner Rob Manfred said:
“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. 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.”
The Yankees added:
“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.”
Ford famously went 25-4 in 1961 en route to winning the only Cy Young award of his storied tenure with the franchise. He then earned World Series Most Valuable Player honors when he won both starts against the Cincinnati Reds and tossed 14 scoreless innings.
As ESPN and the Associated Press added, Ford still holds records for most World Series victories (10) as a pitcher, starts (22), innings pitched (146), wins (10), strikeouts (94), and consecutive scoreless innings (33 2/3). He also led the American League in ERA in 1956 (2.47) and 1958 (2.01).
Ford earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 alongside fellow Yankees all-time great Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle.