Baseball Hall of Immortals – Inductee #77: Whitey Ford

The pitcher with the best winning percentage in modern history (min. 150 innings) is the 77th inductee into the Baseball Hall of Immortals.

Whitey Ford was the heart of a Yankees dynasty that stretched for more than a decade.  Joining the team in 1950 at the age of 21, Ford would go 9-1 with a 2.81 ERA, coming in 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting (Walt Dropo of the Red Sox would take the honors).  

Ford spent his next two years in the military.  When he returned in 1953 he would become the ace of the Yankees pitching staff, going 18-6.  This was the start of 13 consecutive seasons where Ford would achieve double-digit wins, and post a winning record.  During this time he would lead the league in wins and winning percentage three times, and ERA twice.

In 1961, the same year that Mantle and Maris captivated the country with their homerun race, Ford won 25 games to just 4 losses, winning his only Cy Young Award.

As good as Ford was in the regular season, he was even more dominating in the World Series.  In 22 starts (most ever) and 146 innings (most ever) he posted a 2.71 ERA.  In the 1960 and 61 World Series, Ford went 4-0 posting a 0.00 ERA, breaking the consecutive scoreless innnings record set by Babe Ruth.  (Ford’s record would continue into 1962 ending at 33 2/3 innings).

Ford would retire after the 1967 season, following 2 years with arm trouble.  He ended his career with a 236-106 record, and a 2.75 ERA, including 45 shutouts.

The ace of a dynasty, of course Whitey Ford an Immortal.


For some background on what this is, check out the introduction post here.