Edward Charles Ford, better known as “Whitey,” was born October 21, 1928 in Manhattan. Ford spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees, beginning in 1950 and playing until he retired after the 1967 season. He appeared in 498 career games, compiling 236 wins and a 2.75 ERA. Ford won the 1961 Cy Young Award, was named to 10 All-Star Games, and was a member of six World Series-winning teams. He also won two ERA titles and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1950 behind Boston Red Sox first baseman Walt Dropo. Ford was selected into the Hall of Fame in his second year on the ballot, in 1974, receiving 77.8 percent of the vote. The Yankees retired his No. 16 jersey that same year.
Whitey Ford passed away a couple days ago, October 8, 2020 on Long Island.
Rest in peace.
I just heard about the passing of Bob Gibson, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals for seventeen seasons. Over the course of that career, Gibson collected 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 ERA. He was also a nine-time All-Star, won two World Series championships, and he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 NL MVP.
Bob Gibson was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. The Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975 and inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gibson died in Omaha, Nebraska on October 2, 2020 from pancreatic cancer.
Rest in peace.
With a nickname like “Tom Terrific,” you know he was good at his job. Born November 17, 1944, Tom Seaver pitched for twenty seasons in Major League Baseball. Over the course of his career, he played for the New York Mets, the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago White Sox, and the Boston Red Sox.
Seaver won the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1967, and during his career, he won three NL Cy Young Awards. He was also a 12-time All-Star, compiling 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts, and a 2.86 ERA. Just to pad the résumé a little, Seaver even threw a no-hitter in 1978.
Tom Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He passed away a few days ago, on August 31, 2020 from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19.
Rest in peace.
Don Drysdale emphasizes the strain and sacrifices that come with the demanding schedule of a professional ballplayer — especially on the side of that ballplayer’s family. A right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire career, Drysdale won the 1962 Cy Young Award, and in 1968, he set a Major League record by pitching six consecutive shutouts and 58 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings. Drysdale ended his career with 209 wins, 2,486 strikeouts, 167 complete games and 49 shutouts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
It’s always gut wrenching to hear of the death of a player who left such a mark on the game. Roy Halladay was known as an impressively hard worker, and his effort showed in his play. He was an eight-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner. He threw a perfect game against the Marlins on May 29, 2010, and during the 2010 NLDS, Halladay threw a second no-hitter against the Reds. It made him only the fifth pitcher in major league history to throw multiple no-hitters in a single season.
Rest in peace, Roy Halladay.
On February 7, 1987, Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser signed for $800,000, a twenty-percent pay-cut from the year before. It was the second time since the practice of arbitration has been implemented that a player was forced to take less. After winning the Cy Young Award and leading the team to a World Series championship in 1988, however, the Hershiser became the highest-paid player in the big leagues.
On November 12, 1986, Roger Clemens of the Red Sox became only the second American League pitcher to unanimously win the Cy Young Award. Clemens had posted a 24-4 record, with an ERA of 2.48 for the season. The first AL pitcher to win the Cy Young by unanimous vote was Denny McLain in 1968.
On November 25, 1981, Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers became the first relief pitcher ever to win the American League MVP award. He narrowly beat Rickey Henderson by 11 points for the honor, taking 15 first place votes to Henderson’s 12. That year, Rollie Fingers also won the Cy Young Award for the American League.
On November 5, 1976, for the second consecutive season (and third ever), Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer won the Cy Young Award. In the voting cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), Palmer won 19 of 24 first place votes. That season, Palmer finished with a record of 22-13, a 2.51 ERA, and an average of 4.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
The first Cy Young Award was given out following the 1956 season, and, at the time, it was given only to the single best pitcher in both leagues. Brooklyn pitcher Don Newcombe became the first ever Cy Young winner, finishing the season with a 27-7 record and a 3.06 ERA. The Cy Young would continue to be given to only one pitcher each year until 1967, when it then started being given to one pitcher in each league.