New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford, a Hall of Famer and the all-time victories leader for the team and World Series hurlers, died at age 91, the team announced.
A family member told The Associated Press on Friday that Ford died at his Long Island home Thursday night. Ford had dementia for the last few years and died while watching his former team play Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford was born Oct 21, 1928 in the New York borough of Queens. He debuted for the Yankees in 1950 and spent his entire career with them.
“Whitey’s name and accomplishments are forever stitched into the fabric of baseball’s rich history,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “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 wall 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.”
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Ford was a dominant pitcher during his long and productive career. He helped the Yankees win six World Series titles and 11 American League pennants during his 16 seasons. He racked up a career record of 236-106, the Yankees greatest total, and his career winning percentage of .690 was the best for any pitcher with at least 300 career decisions.
Ford was the Cy Young Award winner in 1961, when he was 25-4, and a 10-time All-Star.
“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,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “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.”
Beyond his regular season accomplishments, Ford was dominant in the World series. His 10 World Series victories are the most for any pitcher, and he pitched 33⅔ consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play, breaking a record set by Babe Ruth. He also still holds records for World Series starts (22), innings pitched (146) and strikeouts (94).
No details on survivors or a memorial was immediately available.
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