Could Whitey Ford Have Pitched In Our Era?

SkipContributor ISeptember 3, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 19:  New York Yankees Hall of Famer Whitey Ford looks on during the teams 63rd Old Timers Day before the game against the Detroit Tigers on July 19, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

What if Hall Of Famer Whitey Ford pitched in our era instead of the 50's and 60's? Would this talented lefty be able to compete? Would he even be a decent Major Leaguer? Would he have the same level of success?

In the era that he pitched in Ford's stats were great 236 wins, 3170 IP, 2.75 ERA, 1956 K's and 156 CG. He also didn't have a walk in the park with the hitters in that era in the AL that he faced.

Fearsome hitters like Ted Williams, Roy Sievers, Rocky Colavito, Harmon Killebrew, Al Kaline, Norman Cash and other very fearsome power bats hit in the AL in the era Whitey pitched. So, you can conclude that since Whitey was able to take those great hitters that he could take out David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero and the Michael Young's of the world.

But would Whitey have the same level of success?

Probably not, with the technology hitters use today they could easily just look at a few videos of Whitey and try and make adjustments. Also, just think of all the great new nutrition they have in the game today, hitters would be at full energy most of the time and their bat speed wouldn't take a major step backwards threw the prime years of their career.

Would Whitey struggle?

A reason why Whitey might even struggle is because if you looked at his career stats he has a career K/BB ratio of 1.80, thats not very good. You look at the pitchers of today who are having mediocre careers because they can't throw consistent strikes Oliver Perez, Ian Snell, Scott Kazmir, Joba Chamberlain, etc. Whitey would either have to increase his K totals or just throw more strikes instead of balls. Another, solution would be he becomes a sinker ball type like Chein-Ming Wang who throws a sinkers intended to be a ball most of the time. 

Would he be a ace?

I am as big as a Yankee as you can get but realistically I believe Whitey wouldn't be a ace. You look at when he did pitch itsn't as if he was the best pitcher of his time. There were guys better then him like Bob Lemon, Bob Feller, Early Wynn, Bill Pierce and Jim Bunning. But, do I believe he could be a mid of the rotation type like a Derek Lowe and maybe have a couple of outstanding years.

Best case scenario.

I think if you had to compare him to someone from this era right now, he could at best have a Barry Zito in Oakland type career or maybe even a Mark Mulder in his prime type career.

Worst case scenario.

At worst I think Whitey would be a Doug Davis or Nate Robinson.


This is my first article and let me know if you guys liked this article. As always feel free to comment.