Jimmie Foxx

James Emory Foxx (October 22, 1907 – July 21, 1967), nicknamed "Double X" and "The Beast", was an American professional baseball first baseman who played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies.[1] His most productive years were with the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Sox, where he hit 30 or more home runs in 12 consecutive seasons and drove in more than 100 runs in 13 consecutive years.

Foxx became the second player in MLB history to hit 500 career home runs, after Babe Ruth. Attaining that plateau at age 32 years 336 days, he held the record for youngest to reach 500 for sixty-eight years, until superseded by Alex Rodriguez in 2007. His three career Most Valuable Player awards are tied for second all-time. Foxx was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.[2]

Jimmie Foxx
Jimmie Foxx 1937 cropped
Foxx with the Boston Red Sox in 1937
First baseman
Born: October 22, 1907
Sudlersville, Maryland
Died: July 21, 1967 (aged 59)
Miami, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 1, 1925, for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 23, 1945, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.325
Hits2,646
Home runs534
Runs batted in1,922
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1951
Vote79.2% (seventh ballot)

Early years

Foxx was born in Sudlersville, Maryland on October 22, 1907 to Dell and Mattie Foxx, who were farmers. Dell Foxx had played baseball for a town team when he was younger. Jimmie Foxx did well in school but excelled in sports, particularly soccer, track, and baseball. He played all three sports at Sudlersville High School.

Foxx dropped out of high school early to join a minor league team managed by former Philadelphia Athletics great Frank "Home Run" Baker. Foxx had hoped to pitch or play third base, but since the team was short on catchers, Foxx moved behind the plate. He immediately drew interest from the Athletics and New York Yankees. Foxx signed with the A's and made his major league debut in May 1925 at age 17. He was still in his junior year of high school at the time.[3]

Major league career

Philadelphia Athletics

JimmyFoxxGoudeycard
1933 Goudey baseball card

The A's catching duties were already filled by future Baseball Hall of Fame member Mickey Cochrane, so by 1927, Foxx was splitting time between catching, first base, and the outfield. In 1929, installed as the A's regular first baseman, Foxx had a breakthrough year, batting .354 and hitting 33 home runs. That year, Foxx appeared on the cover of Time.[4]

In 1932, Foxx hit .364, with 58 home runs with 169 RBIs, missing the Triple Crown by just three points in batting average. Foxx actually hit 60 home runs that year, which would have tied Babe Ruth's record, but two of the home runs were hit in games that ended up being rained out, so the home runs did not count. Boston Red Sox first baseman Dale Alexander hit .367, but in just 454 plate appearances; he would not have won the batting title under current rules, which are based upon 3.1 plate appearances per team games played. Foxx did win the Triple Crown the following season, with a batting average of .356, 163 RBIs, and 48 home runs. He won back-to-back MVP honors in 1932 and 1933.

Foxx was one of the three or four most feared sluggers of his era. The great Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez once said of him, "He has muscles in his hair."

In 1937, Foxx hit a ball into the third deck of the left-field stands at Yankee Stadium, a very rare feat because of the distance and the angle of the stands. Gomez was the pitcher who gave it up, and when asked how far it went, he said, "I don't know, but I do know it took somebody 45 minutes to go up there and get it back."

When the Great Depression fully hit in the early 1930s, A's owner Connie Mack was unable to pay the salaries of his highly paid stars, and was obliged to sell off a number of them. After a 1936 contract dispute, Mack sold Foxx's contract to the Red Sox for $150,000 (equivalent to approximately $2,708,273 in 2018 dollars[5]).

Boston Red Sox

1937 all stars crop FINAL2
Seven of the American League's 1937 All-Star players, from left to right Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg. All seven were elected to the Hall of Fame.

Foxx played six years for Boston, including a 1938 season in which he hit 50 home runs, drove in 175 runs, batted .349, won his third MVP award, and again narrowly missed winning the Triple Crown. Foxx is one of nine players to have won three MVPs; only Barry Bonds (7) has more.

On June 16, 1938, he set an American League record when he walked six times in a game. In 1939 he hit .360, his second-best all-time season batting average. His 50 home runs would remain the single-season record for the Red Sox until David Ortiz hit 54 in 2006.

Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies

Foxx's skills diminished significantly after 1941. Some sources attribute this to a drinking problem, while others attribute it to a sinus condition.

He split the 1942 season between the Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, playing mostly a reserve role. He sat out the 1943 season and appeared only in 15 games in 1944, mostly as a pinch hitter.

He wound up his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1945, filling in at first and third, pinch hitting, and pitching nine games, including two as the starting pitcher. He compiled a 1–0 record and 1.59 ERA over 22​23 innings. Foxx was often called the right-handed Babe Ruth, but his career was the opposite of Ruth in this regard. Ruth began his big-league career as a pitcher; Foxx ended his big-league career as one.

Foxx finished his 20-year career with 534 home runs, 1,922 runs batted in, and a .325 batting average. His 12 consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs was a major league record until it was broken by Barry Bonds in 2004. At the end of his career, his 534 home runs placed him second only to Ruth on the all-time list, and first among right-handed hitters. He retained these positions until Willie Mays passed Foxx for second place in 1966. Foxx was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.

Post-baseball career

Foxx worked as a minor league manager and coach after his playing days ended, including managing the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League for one season in 1952.[6] He took them to the playoffs where they lost in the first round 2 games to 1 against the Rockford Peaches. Foxx did not return for the 1953 season.

Foxx served as head coach for the University of Miami baseball team for two seasons, going 9–8 in 1956 and 11–12 in 1957.

A series of bad investments left Foxx broke by 1958.[7] In the early 1960s he lived in Galesburg, Illinois where he was reduced to working as a greeter at a locally owned steak house. He eventually retired to suburban Cleveland in Lakewood, and was employed by the Lakewood Recreation Department. His two children, a daughter and son, also lived in Lakewood. His son, Jimmie Foxx, Jr., was an outstanding football player at Lakewood High School and at Kent State University.

Foxx had a city baseball field named in his honor. The dedication ceremony included Foxx's son, grandchildren and several former members of the Cleveland Indians, including Herb Score and Mike Hegan. TV announcer Casey Coleman, son of announcer Ken Coleman, served as master of ceremonies of the event. A plaque commemorating Foxx's community service remains there today.

Death

Foxx died in 1967 at age 59 in Miami, Florida.[8] He became ill while eating dinner with his brother and was taken to a hospital, where resuscitative efforts failed. An autopsy showed that Foxx had choked on a piece of food. The year before, Foxx's second wife, Dorothy, had also died of choking.[9] Foxx is buried at Flagler Memorial Park in Miami.

Legacy

Jimmy Foxx Statue (21628417255)
Foxx statue in Sudlersville, Maryland

A statue of Foxx was erected in his hometown of Sudlersville, Maryland, on October 25, 1997. In 1999, he ranked number 15 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players,[10] and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Tom Hanks' character Jimmy Dugan in the movie A League of Their Own was largely based on Foxx and Hack Wilson, although the producers took a number of liberties in creating the role.[7]

Foxx is mentioned in the poem "Line-Up for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Jimmie Foxx Statistics and History | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  2. ^ "Jimmie Foxx". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Jimmie Foxx". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  4. ^ "Jimmie Fox: July 29, 1929". Time. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  5. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  6. ^ "James E. Foxx AAGPBL Player/Profile".
  7. ^ a b espn.com, Reel Life: 'A League of Their Own', accessed August 19, 2013.
  8. ^ "Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  9. ^ Edes, Gordon (September 12, 2006). "Foxx news channeling: Ortiz's run prompts a glance into history". Boston Globe. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "100 Greatest Baseball Players by The Sporting News : A Legendary List by Baseball Almanac". www.baseball-almanac.com.
  11. ^ "Baseball Almanac". Retrieved 2008-01-23.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Ty Cobb
American League Triple Crown
1933
Succeeded by
Lou Gehrig
Preceded by
Pinky Higgins
Hitting for the cycle
August 14, 1933
Succeeded by
Earl Averill
1928 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1928 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 2nd in the American League with a record of 98 wins and 55 losses. The team featured seven eventual Hall-of-Fame players: Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Eddie Collins, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons, and Tris Speaker.

1932 Major League Baseball season

The 1932 Major League Baseball season.

1933 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1933 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 3rd in the American League with a record of 79 wins and 72 losses. Jimmie Foxx became the first player to win two American League MVP Awards.

1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the second playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10 at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the home of the New York Giants of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9–7.

The game is well known among baseball historians for the performance of NL starting pitcher Carl Hubbell. After allowing the first two batters to reach base on a single and a base on balls, Hubbell struck out five of the game's best hitters – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – in succession, setting a longstanding All-Star Game record for consecutive strikeouts.

1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the third playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1935, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 4–1.

1936 Boston Red Sox season

The 1936 Boston Red Sox season was the 36th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League (AL) with a record of 74 wins and 80 losses.

1938 Boston Red Sox season

The 1938 Boston Red Sox season was the 38th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 88 wins and 61 losses.

1938 Major League Baseball season

The 1938 Major League Baseball season.

1941 Boston Red Sox season

The 1941 Boston Red Sox season was the 41st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 84 wins and 70 losses. The team featured five future Hall of Famers: player-manager Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Ted Williams.

1942 Boston Red Sox season

The 1942 Boston Red Sox season was the 42nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 93 wins and 59 losses.

1942 Chicago Cubs season

The 1942 Chicago Cubs season was the 71st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 67th in the National League and the 27th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished sixth in the National League with a record of 68–86.

1944 Chicago Cubs season

The 1944 Chicago Cubs season was the 73rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 69th in the National League and the 29th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 75–79.

1951 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1951 followed the same rules as 1950.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted once by mail to select from major league players retired less than 25 years. It elected two, Jimmie Foxx and Mel Ott.

Meanwhile, the Old-Timers Committee, with jurisdiction over earlier players and other figures, did not meet.

List of Major League Baseball career OPS leaders

On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a sabermetric baseball statistic calculated as the sum of a player's on-base percentage and slugging average. The ability of a player both to get on base and to hit for power, two important offensive skills, are represented.

Below is the list of the top 100 Major League Baseball players in career OPS with at least 3,000 career plate appearances.

Babe Ruth is the all-time leader with a career 1.1636 OPS. Ted Williams (1.1155), Lou Gehrig (1.0798), Barry Bonds (1.0512), Jimmie Foxx (1.0376), Hank Greenberg (1.0169), and Rogers Hornsby (1.0103) are the only other players with a career OPS over 1.0000.

List of Major League Baseball career slugging percentage leaders

In baseball statistics, slugging percentage (SLG) is a measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats. Unlike batting average, slugging percentage gives more weight to extra-base hits with doubles, triples, and home runs, relative to singles. Walks are specifically excluded from this calculation, as a plate appearance that ends in a walk is not counted as an at bat.

Babe Ruth is the all-time leader with a career slugging percentage of .6897. Ted Williams (.6338), Lou Gehrig (.6324), Jimmie Foxx (.6093), Barry Bonds (.6069), and Hank Greenberg (.6050) are the only other players with a career slugging percentage over .600.

List of Major League Baseball runs batted in records

Major League Baseball has numerous records related to runs batted in (RBI).

Players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted.

(r) denotes a player's rookie season.

List of Oakland Athletics team records

The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Oakland, California. The Athletics formed in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics; after moving to Kansas City for 12 years, the Athletics relocated to Oakland in 1969. Through 2014, the Athletics have played 17,757 games, winning 8,622, losing 9,048, and tying 87, for a winning percentage of approximately .488. This list documents the superlative records and accomplishments of team members during their tenures as Athletics.

Eddie Plank holds the most franchise records as of the end of the 2014 season, with ten, including the most career wins, losses and hit batsmen. He is followed by Jimmie Foxx, who holds nine records, including the best career on-base percentage and the single-season home runs record, as well as Al Simmons, who holds the single season hit and RBI records.Four Athletics hold Major League records. Offensively, Rickey Henderson holds the single-season modern day steals record, recording 130 over 149 games played during the 1982 season. Frankie Hayes is tied for the single-game doubles record, recording four in a game on July 25, 1936. Eddie Collins stole six bases twice in September 1912; his mark would later be tied by Otis Nixon, Eric Young and Carl Crawford. Defensively, Bruno Haas, who spent his only professional season with the Athletics, holds the single game walks allowed record, pitching 16 in his Major League debut.

Oakland Athletics award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Oakland Athletics professional baseball franchise.

The team was first known as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 and then as the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to 1967.

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