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Thread: RIP Whitey Ford

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham

    RIP Whitey Ford

    One of the last of the great Yankees from the era when they dominated. I used to love reading stories about his pitching greatness as well as his antics with Mickey, Billy and the rest of the gang. And in addition to his primary nickname, Whitey, he had another great one, "The Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford."

    With Seaver, Gibson and Ford, there is quite the starting rotation heading to heaven in the last month. Hopefully no more for a while.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    One of the last of the great Yankees from the era when they dominated. I used to love reading stories about his pitching greatness as well as his antics with Mickey, Billy and the rest of the gang. And in addition to his primary nickname, Whitey, he had another great one, "The Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford."

    With Seaver, Gibson and Ford, there is quite the starting rotation heading to heaven in the last month. Hopefully no more for a while.
    Some more information from an ESPN story.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    RIP, Whitey. He lived in Great Neck, NY, where I grew up. I spent seven weeks during the summer of 1969 at the Ted Williams Baseball Camp and met Eddie Jr., who was a year or two older than I am.
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    As a Yankees fan beginning in 1958, this one hits hard. Which is more than most batters did against Ford.

    As an aside, we somehow missed the death a few days ago of Ron Perranoski, who few a few years was as good a reliever as anyone.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/05/s...ies-at-84.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    One of the last of the great Yankees from the era when they dominated. I used to love reading stories about his pitching greatness as well as his antics with Mickey, Billy and the rest of the gang. And in addition to his primary nickname, Whitey, he had another great one, "The Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford."

    With Seaver, Gibson and Ford, there is quite the starting rotation heading to heaven in the last month. Hopefully no more for a while.
    As a kid I read “Whitey and Mickey” by Joseph Durso. At the time I was already a Yankees fan because of the stories my Dad had told me over the years and because of their exciting and tense AL playoff matchups against the Kansas City Royals and three straight World Series appearances against the Reds, and the Dodgers (twice).

    I became that much more of a fan after reading about Whitey, Mickey, and the rest of the Yankees from that era and have been ever since.

    RIP Whitey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Seriously, his liver belongs in either Coopertown or the Smithsonian, I'd forgotten he was still alive until now...he and Mick and the boys took booze and broads to exciting new levels. Saw him pitch in person many times, not the least overpowering, but ultra crafty...sorry to see all the old stars slip away...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Seriously, his liver belongs in either Coopertown or the Smithsonian, I'd forgotten he was still alive until now...he and Mick and the boys took booze and broads to exciting new levels. Saw him pitch in person many times, not the least overpowering, but ultra crafty...sorry to see all the old stars slip away...
    One of my best friends in high school who got me interested in baseball was a huge Yankee fan. He had baseball cards on every Yankee and could tell you every stat on every Yankee. We had some big discussions on who was the best player, The Mick or Stan The Man. The argument was never settled. I seem to remember Whitey spent a lot of time keeping Mantle and Martin out of trouble when they were out on the town. He was a fantastic pitcher and from all I read and all I heard from my high school friend he was a great guy.

    RIP Whitey.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Whitey was responsible for a major evolutionary shift in baseball, I believe (along with his manager)...I'm too busy to look up the stats, but before Whitey, bullpens were largely an afterthought...just a place to park mediocre pitchers.
    Starters tended to go the full nine innings WAY more than today...and there were no (IIRC) venerated closers, sixth and seventh and eighth inning set up guys, none of that existed.

    But when Whitey was in his prime, his manager (Houk by that time?) often pulled him (again, IIRC, risky territory) in the seventh or eighth inning in favor of Luis Arroyo, in my mind the first, or one of the first, closers.

    Ford took some criticism for this, but in fact this just ushered in relief pitching as we've come to know it...quick look at the stats says Ford won 25 games in 1961 and Arroyo had 29 saves....I think this may be a retrospective stats, don't recall saves being a stat back then...

  9. #9
    Met Whitey once at an autograph/card show. The attractive mom in line in front of me had her son getting a baseball signed. Whitey commented to the boy how nice it was that “his sister” brought him to the show A charmer for sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Whitey was responsible for a major evolutionary shift in baseball, I believe (along with his manager)...I'm too busy to look up the stats, but before Whitey, bullpens were largely an afterthought...just a place to park mediocre pitchers.
    Starters tended to go the full nine innings WAY more than today...and there were no (IIRC) venerated closers, sixth and seventh and eighth inning set up guys, none of that existed.

    But when Whitey was in his prime, his manager (Houk by that time?) often pulled him (again, IIRC, risky territory) in the seventh or eighth inning in favor of Luis Arroyo, in my mind the first, or one of the first, closers.

    Ford took some criticism for this, but in fact this just ushered in relief pitching as we've come to know it...quick look at the stats says Ford won 25 games in 1961 and Arroyo had 29 saves...I think this may be a retrospective stats, don't recall saves being a stat back then...
    There were closers back then but they were used much differently. A star reliever might be asked to go two, three, maybe more innings and could easily come into a game with his team behind. In 1959 Pittsburgh's Roy Face was 18-1 out of the bullpen. But he had 10 saves that season and 20 saves in 1958. Face had 191 saves and 104 wins from 1953 through 1969. He started only 27 games.

    Brooklyn's Clem Labine was used comparably in the 1950s, 77 wins and 94 saves in a career with only 38 starts.

    So, hardly today's closer. But most good teams had talented relief specialists who were a long way from afterthoughts.

    The Yankees also had dedicated closers long before Arroyo. That legendary 1927 team had Wilcy Moore who was 19-7, with 13 saves, 38 relief appearances, 12 starts. Johnny Murphy, Joe Page and Ryne Duren were also relief specialists. Page for example had 45 starts and 278 relief appearances for the Yankees and picked up 57 wins and 76 saves. And that was from 1944 through 1950.

    Note that Arroyo only had one good complete season for the Yankees, 1961, He threw 119 innings in 65 games, almost two innings per appearance. Still a long way from today's one-inning specialists.

    And Ford had 11 complete games and 283 innings pitched in 1961. What Houk did differently was regularly pitch Ford on three days rest, over and over again. in Stengel would try to match Ford up with opposing aces, which sometimes kept Ford on the sidelines for five or six days.

    And yes, MLB has retroactively determined save stats.
    Last edited by jimsumner; 10-10-2020 at 11:35 AM.

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