Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White, Whitey Ford Autograph

Whitey Ford sure seems like the odd man out here.  I mean, of course his autograph is worthwhile, but I don’t ever remember him being a Yankee announcer. I do vaguely remember a photo from either a Yankee Yearbook or Scorecard with these four together.  A list of Yankee announcers does indicate that Whitey worked as a TV analyst for the team from 1968-1971, but I have to think that was part time at best.  But his pitching career puts him arguably as the Yankees’ best all-time pitcher.

As for the other three, they were the long-time core of the Yankees broadcasting team, working together from 1971 through 1985. Messer was the professional broadcaster, Rizzuto the Yankee partisan and crazy uncle, and Bill White functioned as sort of the professional baseball man, having played for the St. Louis Cardinals. Later he would become National League President, at a time when that post still had considerable prestige and power, before the American and National Leagues effectively merged nearly all meaningful operations and decision-making under the auspices of Major League Baseball.

If you have an opportunity, get your hands on a copy of  O Holy Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto, which is a brilliant book that takes the ramblings of Mr. Rizzuto and sets them into a verse format. It is enchanting, funny and moving.

Received 1971



  1. Awesome group here!

  2. The image that inspired this drawing is near the bottom of the page on this link:
    The caption says “The Yankees announce the new Broadcast team for 1971 Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White, and Whitey Ford (for select games)”