1:03 PM PT -- Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner issued a statement on Ford's death, saying ... “Whitey’s name and accomplishments are forever stitched into the fabric of baseball’s rich history. He was a treasure, and one of the greatest of Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes."
"Beyond the accolades that earned him his rightful spot within the walls of the Hall of Fame, in so many ways he encapsulated the spirit of the Yankees teams he played for and represented for nearly two decades.”
1:00 PM PT -- MLB commish Rob Manfred also addressed Whitey's passing, saying Ford was not only a legend on the mound, but a great representative for the game of baseball.
"Today all of Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Whitey Ford, a New York City native who became a legend for his hometown team. Whitey earned his status as the ace of some of the most memorable teams in our sport’s rich history."
"Beyond the Chairman of the Board’s excellence on the mound, he was a distinguished ambassador for our National Pastime throughout his life. I extend my deepest condolences to Whitey’s family, his friends and admirers throughout our game, and all fans of the Yankees.”
Whitey Ford -- widely regarded as the greatest Yankees starting pitcher of all time -- has died at 91, the team confirms.
We're told Ford passed away Thursday at his home in NY.
The Yankees issued a statement saying the team is "incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Whitey Ford."
"Whitey spent his entire 16-year career as a Yankee. A 6x WS Champion and 10x All-Star, The Chairman of the Board was one of the best lefties to ever toe the rubber. He will be deeply missed."
Ford made his MLB debut back in 1950 -- but took time away from the game to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1951 to 1952.
He returned to the Yankees in 1953 and played until 1967 -- racking up a 236-106 career record with an E.R.A. of 2.75 and 1,956 strikeouts. Unreal.
Ford -- who was born and raised in New York City -- was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, along with his teammate Mickey Mantle.
The Yankees retired Ford's #16 jersey that same year.
Ford is survived by his wife Joan (they married back in 1951) and their two children Eddie and Sally Ann. They had a 3rd child, Tommy, who passed away in 1999.
Just last week, fellow MLB pitching legend Bob Gibsonpassed away at the age of 84. Gibson is also a Hall of Famer and considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time.