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Former New York Yankees pitcher Edward 'Whitey' Ford dies at 91

Former Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford is introduced on Old Timers Day before a game at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 17, 2010. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Former Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford is introduced on Old Timers Day before a game at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 17, 2010. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Edward "Whitey" Ford, a pitcher who spent all 16 years of his career with the New York Yankees and led the franchise to six World Series championships, has died, the club announced Friday. He was 91.

Ford died Thursday at his home in Lake Success, N.Y., on Long Island, The New York Times reported. The Chairman of the Board -- so called because of his calm demeanor -- was the second-oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame at the time of his death.

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The cause of Ford's death wasn't announced.

"Today all of Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Whitey Ford, a New York City native who became a legend for his hometown team," Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

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"Whitey earned his status as the ace of some of the most memorable teams in our sport's rich history. Beyond the Chairman of the Board's excellence on the mound, he was a distinguished ambassador for our national pastime throughout his life. I extend my deepest condolences to Whitey's family, his friends and admirers throughout our game, and all fans of the Yankees."

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Ford compiled a record of 236-106 in his 16 years with the Yankees with a 2.75 ERA. His .690 winning percentage is the highest of any pitcher with at least 150 wins in the modern era of the game. He won the Cy Young Award in 1961 and was inducted into the hall of fame in 1974, his second year of eligibility.

"The Yankees are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Whitey Ford," the team said in a statement. "Whitey spent his entire 16-year career as a Yankee. 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."

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The Yankees signed Ford fresh out of high school in 1947 and he joined the team in 1950. He retired in the middle of the 1967 season after experiencing a circulation problem in his pitching arm. He missed two seasons of play in the early 1950s to serve in the Army during the Korean War.

"I grew up on Long Island, not too far from Yankee Stadium," Ford said during his hall of fame induction. "I was a Yankee fan since I was five or six years old. To think when I was 21 years old I'd be playing with [Joe] DiMaggio and [Yogi] Berra against guys like Stan Musial and Roy Campanella, it's just something I can't fathom. It's just been great."

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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