His move to second is also smooth. As he stands facing the plate, he gives a sign—one for Shortstop Tony Kubek, another for Second-Baseman Bobby Richardson—and starts counting. He then whirls and throws at the-bag just as Kubek or Richardson is arriving. He has picked several runners off second this year and Kubek insists that umpires, who in the American League stand on the outfield grass, have missed others.
If Ford on the mound is a tough, Ford returning to the dugout, win or lose, is a small boy being summoned to the woodshed. He walks with careful, tiny steps, his chin on his chest, his arms close to his sides. He walks so slowly that even the outfielders usually reach the dugout before him.
It takes him a long while to unwind from the tension of a game. He may sit around the clubhouse, sip a beer and perhaps take a pill from his vast collection of bottles. The pills are for his gout, which he contracted two years ago. It bothered him for some time, and affected his pitching, but now with the help of the pills and a low-purine diet, he suffers no effects.
It is about a 40-minute drive from Yankee Stadium to the Ford home in Lake Success, L.I. If he has pitched a night game, he will go to the refrigerator, take another beer and turn on the Late Late Show. It will be hours before he will sleep.
At home waiting for Ford—but asleep if it has been a night game—are his wife Joan and three blond children, two boys and a girl. On the Fourth of July, while Ford was beating Detroit at the Stadium, the kids entered some holiday running and swimming races at home. All three kids won prizes. This pleased Ford almost as much as his victory over Detroit. "Just a bunch of Thoroughbreds," he said.