Astoria honored the life and legacy of one of its favorite sons Saturday, Sept. 18, when a street corner was co-named for Yankees pitching legend Whitey Ford.
Nicknamed “The Chairman of the Board,” Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford was raised in the neighborhood and spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the Bronx Bombers on his way to becoming a 10-time All-Star and six-time World Series champion during the dynasty years in the 1950s and ‘60s. Ford died last October at his Long Island home at the age of 91.
The street co-naming took place on the southwest corner of 43rd Street and 34th Avenue where Ford played stickball. It is now known as Eddie Charles “Whitey” Ford Way.
His wife, Joan Ford, and family joined Astoria residents as the new sign was unveiled.
“While everyone knows I’m a huge Mets fan, meeting Mrs. Joan Ford and her very large family for the street renaming in honor of her late husband, and Yankees legend, Whitey Ford is something I won’t soon forget,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “To know that he honed his baseball skills at that very corner — playing stickball against the wall that still stands — is something every Astoria resident should be proud of. I’ll never look at 43rd Street and 34th Avenue the same again.”
In March, the city broke ground on a $2.9 million reconstruction project of the baseball field at Whitey Ford Field along the East River at the northwest edge of Halletts Point.
“Even a Mets fan like me has to recognize the greatness of Astoria’s Whitey Ford,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “It was lovely honoring the Ford family in such a meaningful way.”