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Jimmie Foxx

First baseman
Born: October 22, 1907(1907-10-22)
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
Career statistics
Batting average     .325
Home runs     534
Hits     2,646
Runs batted in     1,922
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
Induction     1951
Vote     79.2% (first ballot)

James Emory "Jimmie" Foxx (October 22, 1907 – July 21, 1967) (nicknamed Double X and The Beast) was a right-handed American first baseman and noted power hitter in Major League Baseball. Foxx was the second major league player to hit 500 career home runs, after Babe Ruth; and, at age 32 years 336 days, is the second youngest to reach that mark, behind Alex Rodriguez. His three career Most Valuable Player awards are tied for second all-time.

Contents

Early years

Born in Sudlersville, Maryland, Foxx played baseball in high school and dropped out 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 1925 at age 17.

Major league career

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Philadelphia Athletics

The A's catching duties were already filled by future Hall of Famer 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.

In 1932, Foxx bat .364, with 58 home runs with 169 RBIs, missing the Triple Crown by just 3 points in batting average. 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 in New York, 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. In 1936, Mack sold Foxx's contract to the Boston Red Sox for $150,000 following a contract dispute.

Boston Red Sox

Foxx played six years for Boston, including a spectacular 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 eight 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 & 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 even pitching nine games, compiling a surprising 1-0 record and 1.59 ERA over 22.2 innings. Interestingly, the man who was so often called the right-handed Babe Ruth throughout 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 twenty-year career with 534 home runs, 1922 runs batted in, and a .325 batting average. His twelve 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.

Jimmy Foxx was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.

Post-baseball career

A series of bad investments left Foxx broke by 1958. He 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. 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. 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.

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.

Death

Foxx died in 1967 at age 59 in Miami, Florida, apparently by choking to death on a piece of meat. He is buried at Flagler Memorial Park in Miami. A statue of Foxx was erected in his hometown on October 25, 1997. In 1999, he ranked number 15 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Cultural references

Foxx is mentioned in the poem "Lineup for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:

Lineup for Yesterday

X is the first
Of two x's in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
With his powerful soxx.

Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)[1]

Foxx is also mentioned in the first stanza of Charles Bukowski's poem "Betting on the Muse."

See also

Notes and references

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig
Hank Greenberg
American League Home Run Champion
1932-1933
1935 (with Hank Greenberg)
1939
Succeeded by
Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig
Hank Greenberg
Preceded by
Lou Gehrig
Hank Greenberg
American League RBI Champion
1932-1933
1938
Succeeded by
Lou Gehrig
Ted Williams
Preceded by
Lefty Grove
Charlie Gehringer
American League Most Valuable Player
1932, 1933
1938
Succeeded by
Mickey Cochrane
Joe DiMaggio
Preceded by
Ty Cobb
American League Triple Crown
1933
Succeeded by
Lou Gehrig
Preceded by
Dale Alexander
Charlie Gehringer
American League Batting Champion
1933
1938
Succeeded by
Lou Gehrig
Joe DiMaggio

Simple English

Jimmie Foxx
First baseman
Born: October 22, 1907(1907-10-22)
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
Career statistics
Batting average    .325
Home runs    534
Runs batted in    1,922
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • 9x All-Star selection (1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941)
  • 2x World Series champion (1929, 1930)
  • 3x AL MVP (1932, 1933, 1938)
  • Member of the National
    Baseball Hall of Fame
    Induction    1951
    Vote    79.2% (first ballot)

    James Emory "Jimmie" Foxx (October 22 1907-July 21 1967) (nicknamed Double X and The Beast) was an American first baseman in Baseball. Foxx was the second major league player to hit 500 home runs, and at age 32, is the second youngest to hit that many home runs, behind Alex Rodriguez.



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