Sunday, February 28, 2021
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Remembering "Whitey" Ford

October 19, 2020 --

LPR's recollection that Whitey's full name was Edward Charles Ford was confirmed by the obit in The Wall Street Journal.  Of course LPR remembered Whitey.  LPR had been a devoted Yankee fan for three years, by the time Whitey joined the ball club in the middle of the 1950 season.  My parents started taking me to Yankee Stadium  (known to us as The Stadium) iin 1947, when I was seven years old.    (I was at The Stadium in the 1948 season when Hank Bauer played his first gane as a Yankee, getting hits his first three times at bat; he ended at three for five, that game.)  

The Wall Street Journal obit did not mention that Whitey won his first nine games in 1950. Recollection is that he went 9 and 1 that 1950 season, with the Yankees taking four straight from the Phillies, in the World Series.  Still in  centerfield for the Yankees in 1950 was Joe DiMaggio (No. 5).  Tommy Henrich (No. 15) might still have been in right field. Might have been Jerry Coleman at second base and of course Phil ("Scooter") Rizzuto  (No. 10) was at shortstop.  With Whitey, the pitching stiff included Allie Reynolds (No. 22)  and Vic Raschi (No. 17)   Whitey was No. 16.  HIs catcher was Lawrence ("Yogi") Berra (No. 8) He was a great pitcher and only played for the Yankees during  his long career.  While there might be a large number of fans who remember Whitey from his playing days, this exchange with a friend suggests that far feweer will remember Whitey from his first season with the Yankees.

Friend:  Did you know Whitey Ford died?

LPR: Yes. I remember when he joined the Yankees in 1950.

Friend:  I don't go that far back; I was born in 1950.

Thanks for these memories, Whitey.  Rest in Peace

P.S. By the way, 1950 was Charles Dillon ("Casey") Stengel's second year managed the Yankees.  His number was 37.   The numbers of the Yankees here set down are strictly from a memory going back 70 years.  1950 for LPR, in many respects, seems little more than a few years ago.  In 1950, going back 70 years was 1880 - now that was ancient history. 

The Yankees didn't even exist that far back. And while LPR can recall numbers worn by several of the 1950 Yankees, he has not a clue who most of the players are, now, much less their numbers. Unlike the current and recent Yankees, the Yankees won most of the American League pennants, 1949 to 1960, and were World Series champs for many of those years, too. O to have been a Yankee fan, in those days.

Lastly, the image of Old Glory that appears on each posting of LPR is of a flag that stood near the old Yankee Stadium.