You are reading

Astoria Legend and Yankees Pitching Great Whitey Ford Dead at 91

Whitey Ford (Courtesy of Friends of Whitey Ford Field)

Oct. 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Astoria-native and New York Yankees pitching great Whitey Ford died Thursday night at his home on Long Island.

Ford grew up playing ball in the sandlots of Astoria with the neighborhood’s 34th Avenue Boys and went on to spend his entire 16-year professional baseball career as a New York Yankee, winning more games than any Yankee player in history.

Nicknamed the “Chairman of the Board” for his winning record, Ford joined the Yankees in 1947 and became a ten-time All Star and six-time World Series champion. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Ford’s 236 career wins are the most of any Yankee player in history.

The team released a statement Friday stating they are incredibly saddened to learn of his passing.

“Whitey spent his entire 16-year career as a Yankee,” the team wrote on Twitter. “A 6x WS Champion and 10x All-Star, The Chairman of the Board was one of the best lefties to ever toe the rubber. He will be deeply missed.”

A ball field in Astoria is named after the baseball legend and is currently undergoing a $2 million ramp. The funding was allocated by Council Member Costa Constantinides and former Borough President Melinda Katz in 2017.

Constantinides, also an Astoria native and a big baseball fan, mourned the loss of Ford in a statement today.

“Today, New York City lost one of Astoria’s proudest sons and one of the greatest Yankees of all time,” Constantinides said. “Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford represented the best of this hard-working community, where kids of modest means can grow up to be legends. More than 50 years after his retirement, the Chairman of the Board still boasts several Yankee pitching records.”

Whitey Ford Field (Photo: Queens Post)

He said Ford’s legacy will live on at the Whitey Ford Field on 26th Avenue, at Hallets Point.

“Whitey Ford represented what it means to be a Yankee: a determined team player who wants to bring greatness to his City,” Constantinides said. “That legacy will live on every time an Astoria kid swings a bat at Whitey Ford Field and when every Yankee dons the pinstripes.”

The grass ballfield was named after Ford in August 2000 and is used by Little Leagues and many other organizations.

The Whitey Ford Field is the oldest ball field in Queens and was first built in 1906, according to Neil Herdan, co-chair of Friends of Whitey Ford Field.

Renovations at the field were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are expected to begin shortly, Herdan said.

The Parks Department will reconstruct the seawall and waterfront infrastructure at the ball field.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Man dies in East Elmhurst house fire that left 10 others injured: FDNY

A man was killed in a fire that broke out inside an East Elmhurst home that also left 10 others injured late Friday night, according to the FDNY.

The FDNY received a call regarding the two-alarm fire that broke out just after 11 p.m. in a three-story residential home at 24-37 89th St. on Friday, Jan. 20. FDNY sent 25 units consisting of 106 firefighters and EMS workers to the scene. Additionally, officers from the 115th Precinct responded to the scene.