Yanks honor Whitey with No. 16 patch in G5

'Chairman of the Board' passed away peacefully while watching G4

October 10th, 2020

The Yankees wore Whitey Ford’s uniform No. 16 on their left sleeves as they took the field for Friday’s decisive Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Rays.

According to the team, Ford passed away peacefully at his home in Lake Success, N.Y., while watching Thursday’s Game 4 of the ALDS. He was 91.

“Whitey Ford is a legend in our industry, and certainly here with the New York Yankees,” manager Aaron Boone said before the Yankees' 2-1 loss. “This is one of those guys that’s a Mount Rushmore guy in the Yankee organization. He personifies this franchise’s greatness.”

Ford was with his wife of 69 years, Joan, his son Eddie and daughter-in-law Cathi, according to the team. Known as the “Chairman of the Board,” the Hall of Fame left-hander played his entire 16-year career in pinstripes (1950, ’53-67).

A member of six World Series championship teams and 11 pennant-winners, Ford is the club’s all-time wins leader with a record of 236-106.

“I prayed for his family today,” Boone said. “It sounds like his family was around him last night, and I understand he was watching the Yankee game when he passed away. I feel like there’s some comfort in that.”

The left-sleeve adornment rests above an oval bearing the initials of Henry G. “Hank” Steinbrenner, who passed away on April 14 at the age of 63.

The ace of the great mid-century Yankees teams of the 1950s and early '60s, Ford’s uniform number 16 was retired on Old-Timers’ Day in August 1974.

The 1961 Cy Young Award winner paced the AL in victories three times, and in ERA and shutouts twice. He still holds many World Series records, including 10 wins, 33 consecutive scoreless innings and 94 strikeouts.

“Whitey Ford is one of those guys that you look up to,” said . “I didn’t get to watch him pitch, but you know the name. You know where he ranks as one of the best pitchers of all-time, especially left-handed.

“We're thinking about him today, and I'll be honored to wear that 16. I was just looking up a lot of things that he accomplished, not only in his career, but his military service as well. I have a lot of respect for what he accomplished.”