25 days of Yankee Numbers: No. 16 Whitey Ford
Ford's 10 World Series wins are the most in Major League history
Leading up to Christmas, we're counting down each day with the best players to wear numbers 1-25 for the Yankees. The list includes Hall of Famers, recent stars, title-winning managers and fan favorites that have donned pinstripes over the last 115 years.
Let's continue with No. 16, Whitey Ford
Edward Charles Ford -- better known as "Whitey" -- is one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history and the heart of a notable Yankees dynasty. He won a franchise-record 236 games in 16 seasons and helped lead the Yankees to six World Series titles during the 1950s and 1960s. His calm demeanor and ability to excel during the toughest situations earned him the nickname "Chairman of the Board."
Ford was called up to the Yankees in July 1950, won his first nine games before losing in relief and was named Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year. He served in the Army during the Korean War for the next two seasons before returning to the team in 1953. Ford reached double digits in wins every season for the next 13 years, including 83 over a four-season span from 1961-64.
One of Ford's most remarkable seasons came in that famous 1961 campaign when he won a Cy Young Award and World Series MVP but was overshadowed by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle's home-run record pursuit. He went 25-4 with a 3.21 ERA during the regular season and dominated in the Fall Classic by going 2-0 without allowing a run in 14 innings pitched. Ford also set a record that season after not allowing a stolen base over 243 straight innings.
The New York native is the only pitcher to ever start four consecutive World Series Game 1's, something he did from 1955-58 and then again from 1961-64. His 10 wins, 22 games started, 146 innings pitched and 94 strikeouts are the most in World Series history.
During his career, Ford was the American League wins leader three times and the MLB ERA leader twice. The southpaw appeared in 10 All-Star Games, all from 1954-64. He also owns numerous Yankee pitching records, including innings pitched, games started and shutouts. Ford led baseball in shutouts during the 1958 and 1960 seasons and his .690 win percentage remains the highest among pitchers with at least 300 decisions. His career 2.75 ERA is the second lowest all-time -- trailing only Clayton Kershaw -- since the live-ball era began in 1920.
Ford was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974 alongside former teammate Mickey Mantle. The Yankees retired his No. 16 in 1974, and Ford was enshrined into Monument Park in 1987.