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Oct 11, 2020

"If the World Series was on the line and I could pick one pitcher to pitch the game, I'd choose Whitey Ford every time." - Mickey Mantle

Generally considered to be the greatest starting pitcher in the history of the New York Yankees, Whitey Ford was among the premier hurlers of his time. A fierce competitor and a master of the mental aspects of pitching, Ford won more games (236), threw more shutouts (45), struck out more batters (1,956), and pitched more innings (3,171) than any other Yankee hurler, while also establishing World Series records for most wins (10), losses (8), games started (22), innings pitched (146), and strikeouts (94). The fact that the left-handed-throwing Ford had the good fortune to spend his entire career pitching for the dominant team of his era in a ballpark that boasted distant outfield fences in left field and left-center field certainly aided his numbers considerably. Nevertheless, Ford's overall effectiveness as a hurler is indisputable. He compiled an ERA under 3.00 in 11 of his 16 seasons, never allowing the opposition more than 3.24 runs per nine innings in any single campaign. Ford's lifetime 2.75 earned run average is the lowest among starting pitchers whose careers began after the advent of the Live Ball Era in 1920. His career record of 236-106 gives him a lifetime winning percentage of .690 – the third best all-time, and the highest of any modern pitcher with at least 200 wins. He allowed an average of only 10.94 base runners per nine innings, and his 45 career shutouts included eight 1-0 victories. Ford accomplished all this despite possessing only average physical size and athletic ability.

 

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