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Ford Hurls 2-Hitter as Yanks Crush Tribe, 5-0, Sweep 2-Game Series

Apr. 29, 1963 - Whitey Ford, plagued throughout the spring with a sore arm, brought cheer to the New York Yankees yesterday with one of his brightest days since he left the sandlots of Astoria, Queens. The Bombers’ left-handed ace, beaten in two previous starts this season, allowed only 2 hits in the 7 innings he pitched as the Yanks crushed the Cleveland Indians, 5-0, for a sweep of the 2-game series at the Stadium. To the amazement of Ford, the rest of the Yankees, all the Indians, 21,677 fans, and assorted peanut vendors, the stocky little hurler also hit a home run. Ford’s homer was one of three by the Yankees. Hector Lopez hit the first one, a three-run shot into the lower-right-field stand off Jim (Mudcat) Grant in the second inning. Ford’s drive, also off Grant, came in the fourth. And in the sixth, after Jerry Walker had replaced Grant, Joe Pepitone, who already had two singles, drove one into the right-field seats. It was his fourth home run of the season. As Ford trotted into the dugout after his home run, the nonchalant world champions ignored him. The silent treatment lasted only a minute or so, however. Then the pitcher was mobbed by his teammates. Needless to say, Ford was ecstatic after the game — not over his pitching, but over that home run of his. It was only the third of his major league career and the first by a Yankee pitcher since 1960, when Eli Grba, now a Los Angeles Angel, connected. “This was a good win,” said Ford. “If I had lost my third in a row, I might have begun to think I was on the way down. Funny thing, about a dozen people wished me good luck today, as if this was a special thing — like I was Early Wynn going out to win No. 300. Maybe it was important!” Ford said he hit his last home run in Detroit in 1958.

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