Whitey Ford's New Book
A Review By Jake Cebula

Some of you may have already read this. Others may not even be aware of it. At any rate, Whitey has written a new book in collaboration with Phil Pepe. It's entitled, "Few and Chosen: Defining Yankee Greatness Across the Eras".   I believe it first hit the bookstores late last fall. My wife bought it for me this past Christmas.

In this book, Whitey ranks (in his opinion, of course) the five best Yankee players at each position. Included, in addition to his lists for the eight regular positions, are his rankings for "Left-Handed Pitcher", "Right-Handed Pitcher", "Relief Pitcher" and "Manager". The book is not one that you have to read chapter by chapter; cover to cover in order to understand it all. It's more on the order of a reference book that you can pick up, open it up anywhere, and digest the contents. It makes for great, casual reading.

The book offers a few surprises (I think). Who do you suppose Ford ranks as the top shortstop in Yankee history? Given the close relationship and years of playing time that Ford had with Phil Rizzuto (not to mention his Hall of Fame status), one could very easily guess that Whitey would pick the Scooter,...........but NO!.....his pick at that position is none other than our current Derek Jeter!.........and that's after consideration to Kubek, Crosetti and Koenig, as well.

Where do you think Ford places Gil McDougald in all of this? Some of you may feel that McDougald didn't have enough of an impact to be placed on ANY list of the Yankees all-time best. I, for one, was a big fan of McDougald's. He was a clutch player, defensively and with the stick. Well,....Whitey has a special place for him. Ford says, "Gil McDougald could make my list of top-five players at three different positions: second base, shortstop and third base. But because of his versatility, I'm choosing him as the utility player on my all-time Yankees team, which is what he was during his Yankee career." That's an interesting opinion. I'm glad Ford recognizes him, but to me McDougald was MORE than a simple utility player.

It's interesting to note that Whitey did not rate himself as being among the top-five lefthanded pitchers in Yankee history!! Can you believe it! Man,......it makes me wonder just what the limit is to Whitey's modesty!? Phil Pepe had to do an editing job and add Ford's name to the list of Lefty Gomez, Ron Guidry, Herb Pennock, Eddie Lopat and Andy Pettitte, in that order. I really think that most of us would have Ford's name at the top of this particular list!

Ford really helps the reader understand just how good some players such as Maris, Raschi, Reynolds, Page, Henrich, Rivers (yep,...Mick the Quick), Gordon, Boyer, etc., etc., and on and on, really were. I'm also very happy to see that Ford has given Mel Stottlemyre his due in the ranking of righthanders!

Besides the very interesting analysis of all the various players' talents, abilities and worth, the book is also full of good stories and anecdotes.

Check it out! Whitey gave us a good one!

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  Few and Chosen
by Whitey Ford, Phil Pepe (Hardcover)
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