Whitey Ford

Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford (born October 21, 1928),[1] nicknamed "The Chairman of the Board", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played his entire 16-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Ford is a ten-time MLB All-Star and six-time World Series champion. In 1961 Ford won both the Cy Young Award and World Series Most Valuable Player Award. He led the American League in wins three times and in earned run average twice. The Yankees retired Ford's uniform number 16 in his honor.

In the wake of Yogi Berra's death in 2015, George Vecsey, writing in the New York Times, suggested that Ford is now "The Greatest Living Yankee."[2]

Whitey Ford
Whitey Ford 1953 Bowman
Pitcher
Born: October 21, 1928 (age 90)
New York City, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 1, 1950, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
May 21, 1967, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record236–106
Earned run average2.75
Strikeouts1,956
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1974
Vote77.81% (second ballot)

Biography

Early life and career

Ford was born in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens in New York City, a few miles by the Triborough Bridge from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.[3] He attended public schools and graduated from the Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades.

Ford was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1947, and played his entire career with them. While still in the minor leagues, he was nicknamed "Whitey" for his light blond hair.[4]

He began his Major League Baseball career on July 1, 1950 with the Yankees and made a spectacular debut, winning his first nine decisions before losing a game in relief. Ford received a handful of lower-ballot Most Valuable Player votes despite throwing just 112 innings, and was voted the AL Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News. (Walt Dropo was the Rookie of Year choice of the BBWAA.)

In 1951, he married Joan at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Glen Cove, New York on Long Island. They lived in this city for a period during the 1950s. They had two sons and a daughter together.

During the Korean War era, in 1951 and 1952, Ford served in the Army. He rejoined the Yankees for the 1953 season, and the Yankee "Big Three" pitching staff became a "Big Four", as Ford joined Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi and Eddie Lopat.

Whitey Ford (Right) In the military
Ford shooting a rifle in training for the military.

Pitching career

Ford eventually went from the No. 4 pitcher on a great staff to the universally acclaimed No. 1 pitcher of the Yankees. He became known as the "Chairman of the Board" for his ability to remain calm and in command during high-pressure situations. He was also known as "Slick," a nickname given to him, Billy Martin and Mickey Mantle by manager Casey Stengel, who called them Whiskey Slicks. Ford's guile was necessary because he did not have an overwhelming fastball, but being able to throw several other pitches very well gave him pinpoint control. Ford was an effective strikeout pitcher for his time, tying the then-AL record for six consecutive strikeouts in 1956, and again in 1958. Ford never threw a no-hitter, but he pitched two consecutive one-hit games in 1955 to tie a record held by several pitchers.

Whitey Ford 1954
Ford in 1954.

In 1955, Ford led the American League in complete games and games won; in 1956 in earned run average and winning percentage; in 1958, in earned run average; and in both 1961 and 1963, in games won and winning percentage. Ford won the Cy Young Award in 1961; he likely would have won the 1963 AL Cy Young, but this was before the institution of a separate award for each league, and Ford could not match Sandy Koufax's numbers for the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League. He would also have been a candidate in 1955, but this was before the award was created.

Some of Ford's totals were depressed by Yankees' manager Casey Stengel, who viewed Ford as his top pitching asset and often reserved his ace left-hander for more formidable opponents such as the Tigers, Indians, and White Sox. When Ralph Houk became the manager in 1961, he promised Ford that he would pitch every fourth day, regardless of the opponent; after exceeding 30 starts only once in his nine seasons under Stengel, Ford had 39 in 1961. His first 20-win season, a career-best 25-4 record, and the Cy Young Award ensued, but Ford's season was overshadowed by the home run battle between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. As a left-hander with an excellent pick-off move, Ford was also deft at keeping runners at their base: He set a record in 1961 by pitching 243 consecutive innings without allowing a stolen base.

In May 1963, after pitching a shutout, Ford announced he had given up smoking. He said, "My doctor told me that whenever I think of smoking, I should think of a bus starting up and blowing the exhaust in my face."[5]

Career statistics

Ford won 236 games for New York (career 236-106), still a franchise record. Red Ruffing, the previous Yankee record-holder, still leads all Yankee right-handed pitchers, with 231 of his 273 career wins coming with the Yankees. Other Yankee pitchers have had more career wins (for example, Roger Clemens notched his 300th career victory as a Yankee), but amassed them for multiple franchises. David Wells tied Whitey Ford for 13th place in victories by a left-hander on August 26, 2007.

Among pitchers with at least 300 career decisions, Ford ranks first with a winning percentage of .690, the all-time highest percentage in modern baseball history.

During the 16 years that Ford played for the Yankees (1950 and 1953-1967), his .690 winning percentage outpaced that of the Yankees, who had a record of 1486-1027 (.594) during the same years, and who were 1027-106 (.576) for games in which Ford did not earn a decision.

Ford's 2.75 earned run average is the second-lowest among starting pitchers whose careers began after the advent of the live-ball era in 1920. (Only Clayton Kershaw's current 2.51 ERA is lower.) Ford's worst-ever ERA was 3.24. Ford had 45 shutout victories in his career, including eight 1-0 wins.

World Series and All-Star Games

Ford's status on the Yankees was underscored by the World Series. Ford was New York's Game One pitcher in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964. He is the only pitcher to start four consecutive Game Ones, a streak he reached twice. In the 1960 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Stengel altered this strategy by holding Ford back until game three, a decision that angered Ford. The Yankees' ace won both his starts in Games Three and Six with complete-game shutouts, but was then unavailable to relieve in the last game of a Yankees loss, the Pirates winning the game—and the Series with it—on Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Ford always felt that had he been able to appear in three of the games instead of just two, the Yankees would have won.

For his career, Ford had 10 World Series victories, more than any other pitcher. Ford also leads all starters in World Series losses (8) and starts (22), as well as innings, hits, walks, and strikeouts. In 1961, he broke Babe Ruth's World Series record of ​29 23 consecutive scoreless innings. The record would eventually reach ​33 23, although MLB rule makers retroactively reduced the record to 33 innings since Ford did not complete a full inning before allowing the streak-ending run. It is still a World Series record, although Mariano Rivera broke it as a postseason record in 2000.[6] Ford won the 1961 World Series MVP. In addition to Yankee Stadium, Ford also pitched World Series games in seven other stadiums:

Ford appeared on eight AL All-Star teams between 1954 and 1964.

Retirement

WhiteyFord16
Whitey Ford's number 16 was retired by the New York Yankees in 1974.

Ford ended his career in declining health. In August 1966, he underwent surgery to correct a circulatory problem in his throwing shoulder. In May 1967, Ford lasted just one inning in what would be his final start, and he announced his retirement at the end of the month at age 38.

Ford wore number 19 in his rookie season. Following his return from the army in 1953, he wore number 16 for the remainder of his career.

After retiring, Ford admitted in interviews to having occasionally doctored baseballs. Examples were the "mudball", used at home in Yankee Stadium. Yankee groundskeepers would wet down an area near the catcher's box where the Yankee catcher Elston Howard was positioned; pretending to lose balance, Howard would put down his hand with the ball and coat one side of the ball with mud and throw it to Ford. Ford sometimes used the diamond in his wedding ring to gouge the ball, but he was eventually caught by an umpire and warned to stop. Howard sharpened a buckle on his shinguard and used it to scuff the ball.

Ford described his illicit behavior as concession to age:

"I didn't begin cheating until late in my career, when I needed something to help me survive. I didn't cheat when I won the twenty-five games in 1961. I don't want anybody to get any ideas and take my Cy Young Award away. And I didn't cheat in 1963 when I won twenty-four games. Well, maybe a little."[7]

Ford admitted to doctoring the ball in the 1961 All Star Game at Candlestick Park to strike out Willie Mays. Ford and Mantle had accumulated $1200 ($9,939 today) in golf pro shop purchases as guests of Horace Stoneham at the Giants owner's country club. Stoneham promised to pay their tab if Ford could strike out Mays.

Whitey Ford 2010
Ford in 2010

In 1977, Ford was part of the broadcast team for the first game in Toronto Blue Jays history.[8] In 2008, Ford threw the first pitch at the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. On September 21, 2008 Ford and Yogi Berra were guests of the broadcast team for the final game played at Yankee Stadium.

In 2002, Ford opened "Whitey Ford's Cafe", a sports-themed restaurant and bar next to Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York.[9] A replica of the Yankee Stadium facade trimmed both the exterior and the bar, whose stools displayed uniform numbers of Yankee luminaries; widescreen TVs were installed throughout. The main dining area housed a panoramic display of Yankee Stadium from the 1950s, specifically a Chicago White Sox–Yankee game with Ford pitching and Mickey Mantle in center field; the Yanks are up 2-0. Waiters and waitresses dressed in Yankees road uniforms, with Ford's retired No. 16 on the back.[10] It lasted less than a year before it closed down.[11]

During the 1950s, Ford lived for a period in Glen Cove, on the North Shore of Long Island. As of 2015, the 86-year-old Ford was splitting his time between his homes in Long Island and Florida.[2]

Representation in other media

Legacy and honors

Whitey Ford Plaque
Ford's plaque at Monument Park in Yankee Stadium.

Place names:

  • 1994, a road in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) was named Ford Road in his honor. The north-central area of Mississauga is known informally as "the baseball zone", as several streets in the area are named for hall-of-fame baseball players.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ Some sources, such as Retrosheet, claim a 1926 birthdate.
    "Whitey Ford". Retrosheet. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Vecsey, George (September 25, 2015) " Whitey Ford, a Six-Time Champion, Can Add a Title: Greatest Living Yankee", The New York Times, pages B8 and B9 [1]
  3. ^ Berkow, Ira. "ON BASEBALL; Ford Highlight Film Started Early", The New York Times, August 17, 2000. Accessed November 3, 2007. "Vivid in my memory is Stengel's shrug, palms up at his sides, gesturing in response to the mixture of cheers for Ford and boos for his removal. It was a display of sympathy for the kid from Astoria, Queens, who just a few years earlier was playing in street stickball games, and now under a national spotlight and World Series pressure had pitched so beautifully."
  4. ^ "They Came from Queens", Queens Tribune. Accessed November 4, 2007. "He once lived in Little Neck and attended Aviation High School."
  5. ^ Ford, Whitey. Slick: My Life In And Around Baseball, New York: William Morrow, 1987.
  6. ^ Coverdale, Miles, Jr. (2006). Whitey Ford: A Biography. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 155.
  7. ^ Ford (1987), Slick
  8. ^ Stephen Brunt, Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, p. 94, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
  9. ^ Details of Whitey Ford's Cafe from Yahoo! Local.
  10. ^ Peter M. Gianotti, Review of White Ford's Cafe from Newsday, October 13, 2002.
  11. ^ Conversation with present owner of Gasho of Japan restaurant, former site of Whitey Ford's Cafe.
  12. ^ 100 Greatest Baseball Players by The Sporting News : A Legendary List by Baseball Almanac
  13. ^ google.com

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Johnny Sain
Jim Turner
New York Yankees pitching coach
1964
1974–1975
Succeeded by
Cot Deal
Cloyd Boyer
Preceded by
Loren Babe
New York Yankees first-base coach
1968
Succeeded by
Elston Howard
1955 World Series

The 1955 World Series matched the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees, with the Dodgers winning the Series in seven games to capture their first championship in franchise history. It would be the only Series the Dodgers won while based in Brooklyn, as the team relocated to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. This was the fifth time in nine years that the Yankees and the Dodgers met in the World Series, with the Yankees having won in 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953; the Yankees would also win in the 1956 rematch.

This Series also marked the end of a long period of invulnerability for the Yankees in World Series. It was the Yankees' first loss in a World Series since 1942 and only their second since 1926. While the Yankees were 15–2 in Series appearances during that time, they would lose again in 1957, 1960, 1963, and 1964, for a record of 4–5 in World Series over the next decade.

1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)

The second 1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 29th playing of Major League Baseball's annual midsummer exhibition game. The game took place at Yankee Stadium in New York City, home of the American League's New York Yankees. The National League won the game by a score of 6–0. The National League hit four home runs, tying an All-Star Game record.

1961 Major League Baseball season

The 1961 Major League Baseball season was played from April 10 to October 12, 1961. That season saw the New York Yankees defeat the Cincinnati Reds in five games in the World Series. The season is best known for Yankee teammates Roger Maris' and Mickey Mantle's pursuit of Babe Ruth's prestigious 34-year-old single-season home run record of 60. Maris ultimately broke the record when he hit his 61st home run on the final day of the regular season, while Mantle was forced out of the lineup in late-September due to a hip infection and finished with 54 home runs.

In response to the proposed Continental League, the American League expanded by two teams in the first MLB expansion since 1901. The original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins. The American League therefore placed a new team in Washington, also called the Senators. Also, the American League placed a team in Los Angeles called the Los Angeles Angels.

In order to keep its schedule balanced, the American League season was extended by eight games. Previously, teams had played 154 games (22 games per opponent), but from 1961 AL teams would play opponents 18 times each for a total of 162 games. The National League played a 154 game schedule for the final time in 1961 before switching to 162 games when they also expanded to ten teams for the following season.

1961 New York Yankees season

The 1961 New York Yankees season was the 59th season for the team in New York, and its 61st season overall. The team finished with a record of 109–53, eight games ahead of the Detroit Tigers, and won their 26th American League pennant. New York was managed by Ralph Houk. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Cincinnati Reds in 5 games. This season was best known for the home run chase between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, with the former beating Babe Ruth's single season record by hitting 61.

The 1961 Yankees are often mentioned as a candidate for the unofficial title of greatest baseball team in history.

1961 World Series

The 1961 World Series matched the New York Yankees (109–53) against the Cincinnati Reds (93–61), with the Yankees winning in five games to earn their 19th championship in 39 seasons. This World Series was surrounded by Cold War political puns pitting the "Reds" against the "Yanks." But the louder buzz concerned the "M&M" boys, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, who spent the summer chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and his 60–home run season of 1927. Mantle finished with 54 while Maris set the record of 61 on the last day of the season. With all the attention surrounding the home run race, the World Series seemed almost anticlimatic.

The Yankees were under the leadership of first-year manager Ralph Houk, who succeeded Casey Stengel. The Yankees won the American League pennant, finishing eight games better than the Detroit Tigers. The Bronx Bombers also set a Major League record for most home runs in a season with 240. Along with Maris and Mantle, four other Yankees, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Bill Skowron, and Johnny Blanchard, hit more than 20 home runs. The pitching staff was also led by Cy Young Award-winner Whitey Ford (25–4, 3.21).

The underdog Reds, skippered by Fred Hutchinson, finished four games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and boasted four 20-plus home run hitters of their own: NL MVP Frank Robinson, Gordy Coleman, Gene Freese and Wally Post. The second-base, shortstop, and catcher positions were platooned, while center fielder Vada Pinson led the league in hits with 208 and finished second in batting with a .343 average. Joey Jay (21–10, 3.53) led the staff, along with dependable Jim O'Toole and Bob Purkey.

The American League added two teams, the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, through expansion and also increased teams' respective schedules by eight games to 162. The National League was a year away from its own expansion as the Reds and the other NL teams maintained the 154-game schedule.

The Most Valuable Player Award for the series went to lefty Whitey Ford, who won two games while throwing 14 shutout innings.

Ford left the sixth inning of Game 4 due to an injured ankle. He set the record for consecutive scoreless innings during World Series play with 32, when, during the third inning he passed the previous record holder, Babe Ruth, who had pitched ​29 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in 1916 and 1918. Ford would extend that record to ​33 2⁄3 in the 1962 World Series.

The 1961 five-game series was the shortest since 1954, when the New York Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in four games.

These two teams would meet again 15 years later in the 1976 World Series, which the Reds would win in a four-game sweep.

1963 World Series

The 1963 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers sweeping the Series in four games to capture their second title in five years, and their third in franchise history. Starting pitchers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Johnny Podres, and ace reliever Ron Perranoski combined to give up only four runs in four games. The dominance of the Dodgers pitchers was so complete that at no point in any of the four games did the Yankees have the lead. New York was held to a .171 team batting average, the lowest ever for the Yankees in the post-season.

This was the first time that the Yankees were swept in a World Series in four staight (the 1922 World Series had one tie).

Of the Los Angeles Dodgers four World Series championships since the opening of Dodger Stadium, this was the only one won at Dodger Stadium. Also, of the six championships from the Dodgers franchise, it remains the only one won at home.

This series was also the first meeting between teams from New York City and Los Angeles for a major professional sports championship. Seven more such meetings have followed with three more times each in the World Series and the NBA Finals, and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

1974 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1974 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Jim Bottomley, Jocko Conlan, and Sam Thompson.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Cool Papa Bell.

Everlast (musician)

Erik Francis Schrody (born August 18, 1969), known by his stage name Everlast, is an American musician, singer, rapper and songwriter, known for his solo work and as the front-man for hip hop group House of Pain. He was also part of the hip hop supergroup La Coka Nostra, which consists of members of House of Pain and other rappers. In 2000, he received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal with Latin Rock musician Carlos Santana for "Put Your Lights On".

Lefty Gomez

Vernon Louis "Lefty" Gomez (November 26, 1908 – February 17, 1989) was an American professional baseball player. A left-handed pitcher, Gomez played in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1930 and 1943 for the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators. Gomez was a five-time World Series champion with the Yankees. He was also known for his colorful personality and humor throughout his career and life.

Gomez grew up in California and played for the San Francisco Seals after high school. He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in April 1930. He was selected as an All-Star every year between 1933 and 1939. He sustained an arm injury in 1940. Though he rebounded well in 1941, he pitched his last full season in 1942, then appeared in one game in 1943 before retiring with the Washington Senators.

In 1933, Gomez married June O'Dea, who had a brief career as a Broadway actress. After his retirement, he became a popular public speaker. Gomez was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1972. He made an appearance at Yankee Stadium in 1987, when he and Whitey Ford were honored with plaques at the stadium's Monument Park. He died in California in 1989.

List of New York Yankees Opening Day starting pitchers

The New York Yankees are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in The Bronx, New York City, New York. They play in the American League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Yankees have used 57 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 110 seasons. Since the franchise's beginning in 1901, the 58 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 57 wins, 36 losses, 1 tie (57–36–1), and 17 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game. Although in modern baseball, ties are rare due to extra innings, in 1910, New York's Opening Game against the Boston Red Sox was declared a tie due to darkness – at the time, Hilltop Park had lacked adequate lighting.Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, and Mel Stottlemyre hold the Yankees record for most Opening Day starts with seven. The other pitchers with three or more Opening Day starts for New York are CC Sabathia (6), Lefty Gomez (6), Red Ruffing (5), Jack Chesbro (4), Roger Clemens (4), Bob Shawkey (4), Ray Caldwell (3), Jimmy Key (3), Vic Raschi (3), and most recently Masahiro Tanaka (4). Jimmy Key holds the Yankee record for best Opening Day record with a perfect 3–0.On Opening Day, Yankee pitchers have a combined record of 35–12–1 when playing at home. Of those games, pitchers have a 1–0 record at Oriole Park, a 3–1–1 record at Hilltop Park, a 2–3 record from Polo Grounds, a 28–8 record at Yankee Stadium, and a 1–0 record at Shea Stadium. When on the road for Opening Day, Yankee pitchers have a combined record of 27–27.

During the 1901 and 1902 seasons, the franchise played in Baltimore as the "Baltimore Orioles". The franchise has Opening Day record of 1–1 as Baltimore. After their move to New York in 1903, the franchise was known as the New York Highlanders until 1912. As the Highlanders, they had a 6–3–1 Opening Day record. For seasons in which New York would later win the World Series, the starting pitchers have a 16–8 record.

List of New York Yankees team records

The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the Bronx, New York. They compete in the East Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) American League (AL). The club began play in 1903 as the Highlanders, after owners Frank Farrell and William S. Devery had bought the defunct Baltimore Orioles and moved the team to New York City; in 1913, the team changed its nickname to the Yankees. From 1903 to 2018, the franchise has won more than 10,000 games and 27 World Series championships. The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

Outfielder Babe Ruth holds the most franchise records, with 16, including career home runs, and career and single-season batting average and on-base percentage. Shortstop Derek Jeter has the second-most records among hitters, with eight. Jeter's marks include the records for career hits, singles, doubles, and stolen bases. Among pitchers, Whitey Ford has the most Yankees records with five, all of which are career totals. These include games won, games started, and innings pitched.

Several Yankees hold AL and MLB records. Ruth has MLB single-season records for extra-base hits and total bases, and holds four other AL single-season records. Outfielder Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak in the 1941 season, which remains an MLB record. Jack Chesbro holds three AL records that he set in 1904: games won, games started, and complete games.

Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford

Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford is the fifth solo studio album by American recording artist Everlast. It was released on September 23, 2008 via his own record label Martyr Inc, with distribution by Hickory Records/Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The album peaked at number 15 on Swiss Music Charts, number 61 in Germany, number 78 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and number 132 in France.

The record included singles and videos for "Letter Home From The Garden Of Stone", which was available for free download via martyr-inc.com in December 2007, a DJ Muggs-produced cover track of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", which was released to download on August 19, and the final "Stone In My Hand", which debuted on the martyr-inc.com website on October 28, 2008 and later made its appearance in 2011 film Drive Angry. All the tracks from the album were written and produced by Keefus Ciancia and Everlast himself, except for "Naked" produced by DJ Lethal, and "Folsom Prison Blues".

Safe at Home!

Safe at Home! is a 1962 sports comedy film starring Major League Baseball players Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the New York Yankees. The film also stars William Frawley (in his final film appearance) and Don Collier, with appearances by New York Yankees Whitey Ford and Ralph Houk.

The film is about a young Florida boy who lies to his Little League teammates, telling them he knows Mantle and Maris and will bring them to their team banquet. His attempts to meet his heroes during spring training by sneaking into the stadium and into their hotel room at the Yankee Clipper Hotel result in chaos, and he learns an important lesson about honesty. Filmed in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, Florida.

The Duke of Paducah

Benjamin Francis Ford (May 12, 1901 – June 20, 1986), known professionally as The Duke of Paducah, was an American country comedian, radio host and banjo player popular from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Ford was born in De Soto, Missouri, and was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He had only a third-grade education, so he joked that he came from the "university of hard knocks." He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1918. During his Navy service he learned to play the banjo and earned his nickname Whitey Ford because of his blonde hair. After his discharge in 1922, he joined McGinty's Oklahoma Cowboy Band, a Dixieland jazz group, as a banjo player. The group later changed its name to Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys and appeared in a few Hollywood film shorts. In 1929, Ford made his debut on WLS-AM in Chicago, Illinois.

In the early 1930s, while working at KWK in St. Louis, Ford took the stage name The Duke of Paducah. In 1937, he founded the Renfro Valley Barn Dance with Red Foley and John Lair More radio work followed when he became a regular on Plantation Party, an NBC Radio show in Cincinnati and Chicago. From 1942–1959, Ford was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry where he became a member. He also hosted several popular radio shows broadcast nationally. In the mid-1950s, Ford toured with a troupe he called the Rock and Roll Revue. On several occasions, he shared a bill with Elvis Presley. In 1958, he began hosting an early morning television show, Country Junction, on WLAC-TV in Nashville, which he hosted for several years, being succeeded by disc jockey Eddie Hill.

Ford ended his act with his tagline: "I'm goin' back to the wagon, boys, these shoes are killin' me." He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in February 1986.

Warren Brown (sportswriter)

Warren Brown (January 3, 1894 – November 19, 1978) was an American sportswriter who spent the major portion of his career in Chicago, Illinois. Brown was named the J. G. Taylor Spink Award winner in 1973 by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and was inducted the same year as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and umpire Jocko Conlan.

Whitey Ford (disambiguation)

Whitey Ford may refer to:

Whitey Ford, American baseball player

Everlast (musician) an American rapper, singer, and songwriter

Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, the second album from Everlast

Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford, the fifth album from Everlast

Whitey Ford's House of Pain, the seventh solo studio album from Everlast

The Duke of Paducah, the stage name of country comedian Benjamin "Whitey" Ford

Whitey Ford Sings the Blues

Whitey Ford Sings the Blues is the second solo studio album by American recording artist Everlast, and the first one following his departure from House of Pain. It was released on September 8, 1998 via Tommy Boy Records, a full eight years after his solo debut album Forever Everlasting and after he had a major heart attack. "Whitey Ford" in the album title refers to the New York Yankees pitcher with that name.

The record was both a commercial and critical success (selling more than 3 million copies) and went 2x Platinum according to RIAA. It peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. Its hit single "What It's Like" became the artist's most popular and successful song, which received him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at 42nd Annual Grammy Awards. has reached No.1 on Billboard Alternative Songs.

Whitey Ford Sings the Blues blended rap with acoustic and electric guitars, developed by Everlast together with producers Dante Ross and John Gamble. The album primarily incorporates a mix of musical styles such as blues, rock and hip hop.

Yankeeography

Yankeeography is a biography-style television program that chronicles the lives and careers of the players, coaches, and other notable personnel associated with the New York Yankees Major League Baseball team. The series is aired on the YES Network and is produced by MLB Productions. The series is hosted by Yankees radio personality John Sterling. The series has earned five New York Sports Emmy Awards since its inception. In addition to airing on YES, MLB Productions has packaged many of the shows into DVD boxed sets.

After debuting as a weekly show with the 2002 launch of YES, Yankeeography only debuts new episodes periodically (as there are fewer prominent Yankees yet to be spotlighted). For instance, four episodes premiered in 2006: Tino Martinez, David Cone, the Yankees' 1996 World Series team, and Billy Martin. All Yankees with retired numbers have had shows completed with the exception of Bill Dickey. The show has been criticized for producing episodes on players who remain active while Hall of Famers from much earlier eras such as Jack Chesbro, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez were not profiled. Some profiles have been updated to reflect new developments.

Franchise
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Umpires

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