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MLB: Berra and Ford Sign New Contracts with Yankees

Jan. 16, 1962 - While downstairs at Toots Shor’s the “poor people” were having lunch today, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford (pictured with Roy Hamey, Yankees general manager), a couple of upper-bracket ballplayers, were upstairs affixing their signatures to contracts assuring them of slightly more than $100,000 in salary between them in 1962. Berra, who hit 22 homers and had 61 runs batted in last year, received a raise of $2,000. The 32-year-old Ford received an increase of $13,000, making him the highest-paid pitcher in Yankee history. Whitey learned to throw a slider in 1960 and last year it supplanted his curve as his “strikeout pitch.” Now, the lefty is working on the development of a screwball. “If I can master that one, I will have five pitches,” he said. “The fastball, change-up, slider, and curve are the others. With a screwball, I’ll probably be able to continue to pitch until I’m 39.”

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