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Jimmie Foxx

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Full Name: James Emory Foxx Primary Position: 1B
Height/Weight: 6' 0"/195 First Game: May 1, 1925
Birthdate: October 22, 1907 Final Game: September 23, 1945
Birthplace: Sudlersville, Maryland MLB Experience: 20 years
Died: July 21, 1967
Deathplace: Miami, Florida
Bat/Throw: Right/Right
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Inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1951


[[Category: 1951 baseball Hall of Fame Inductee]]


Biography

James Emory Foxx (October 22 1907July 21 1967) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball who was, up until Mark McGwire's glory days in the late 1990s, the most prolific right-handed power hitter to ever play the sport. Foxx was the second major league player to hit 500 career home runs, and at age 32 years, 11 months, and two days, is still the youngest ever to reach that mark.

Although Foxx's name appears both as Jimmy Foxx and Jimmie Foxx in newspaper accounts, box scores, baseball cards, and other records, Foxx generally signed his name "Jimmie."

Born in Sudlersville, Maryland, Foxx (nicknamed "Double X" and "The Beast") played baseball in high school and dropped out to join a minor league team managed by former Philadelphia Athletics great "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.

The A's catching duties were already capably 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 his breakthrough year, batting .354 and hitting 33 home runs. In 1932, Foxx hit 58 home runs, which stood as the single-season record for a right-handed batter for 56 years until Mark McGwire hit 70 in 1998. He followed up in 1933 by winning the Triple Crown with a batting average of .356, 163 RBIs, and 48 home runs. He won back-to-back MVP honors in 1932 and 1933.

When the Great Depression hit, A's owner Connie Mack softened the blow to his pocketbook by selling off some of his star players. In 1936, Mack sold Foxx's contract to the Boston Red Sox for $150,000 following a contract dispute.

Foxx played six years in 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 narrowly missed winning the Triple Crown. In 1939 he hit .360, his 2nd all-time best annual batting average.

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 as a jack of all trades, filling in at first and third, pinch hitting, and even pitching 9 games, compiling a surprising 1-0 record and 1.59 ERA over 22 2/3 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 as well. Ruth began his big-league career as a pitcher; Foxx ended his big-league career as one.

Jimmie Foxx finished his 20-year, 2317-game career with 534 home runs, 1922 runs batted in, and a .325 batting average. He won a total of three MVP awards. His 12 consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs was a major league record broken by Barry Bonds in 2004. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951. 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, positions he retained for some 26 years.

Foxx was one of the most feared sluggers of his era. Lefty Gomez once said, "He (Jimmie Foxx) has muscles in his hair." In 1937, Foxx hit a ball into the upper deck at Yankee Stadium in New York, a very difficult feat due to the distance and to 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."

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. Tom Hanks' character Jimmy Dugan in the movie A League of Their Own was largely based on Foxx, but the producers took a number of liberties in creating the role.

Foxx died at age 59 in Miami, Florida, apparently by choking to death on a bone. He is buried at Flagler Memorial Park in Miami, Florida. 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.

Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1925 PHI A 10 9 2 6 0 0 .667 .667 .778 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
1926 PHI A 26 32 8 10 0 5 .313 .333 .438 2 1 1 6 0 2 1 0 0
1927 PHI A 61 130 23 42 3 20 .323 .393 .515 6 5 14 11 1 1 2 0 0
1928 PHI A 118 400 85 131 13 79 .327 .416 .548 29 10 60 43 1 12 3 0 0
1929 PHI A 149 517 123 183 33 118 .354 .463 .625 23 9 103 70 2 16 9 0 0
1930 PHI A 153 562 127 188 37 156 .335 .429 .637 33 13 93 66 0 18 7 0 0
1931 PHI A 139 515 93 150 30 120 .291 .380 .567 32 10 73 84 1 4 4 0 0
1932 PHI A 154 585 151 213 58 169 .364 .469 .749 33 9 116 96 0 0 3 0 0
1933 PHI A 149 573 125 204 48 163 .356 .449 .703 37 9 96 93 1 0 2 0 0
1934 PHI A 150 539 120 180 44 130 .334 .449 .653 28 6 111 75 1 1 11 0 0
1935 PHI A 147 535 118 185 36 115 .346 .461 .636 33 7 114 99 0 0 6 0 0
1936 BOS A 155 585 130 198 41 143 .338 .440 .631 32 8 105 119 1 2 13 0 0
1937 BOS A 150 569 111 162 36 127 .285 .392 .538 24 6 99 96 1 4 10 0 0
1938 BOS A 149 565 139 197 50 175 .349 .462 .704 33 9 119 76 0 1 5 0 0
1939 BOS A 124 467 130 168 35 105 .360 .464 .694 31 10 89 72 2 5 4 0 17
1940 BOS A 144 515 106 153 36 119 .297 .412 .581 30 4 101 87 0 2 4 0 18
1941 BOS A 135 487 87 146 19 105 .300 .412 .505 27 8 93 103 0 2 2 0 21
1942 CHI N 70 205 25 42 3 19 .205 .282 .288 8 0 22 55 0 0 1 0 9
1942 BOS A 30 100 18 27 5 14 .270 .392 .460 4 0 18 15 2 0 0 0 1
1942 Total 100 305 43 69 8 33 .226 .320 .344 12 0 40 70 2 0 1 0 10
1944 CHI N 15 20 0 1 0 2 .050 .136 .100 1 0 2 5 0 0 0 0 0
1945 PHI N 89 224 30 60 7 38 .268 .336 .420 11 1 23 39 0 1 0 0 3
Total NL 174 449 55 103 10 59 .229 .302 .345 20 1 47 99 0 1 1 0 12
Total AL 2143 7685 1696 2543 524 1863 .331 .435 .625 438 124 1405 1212 13 70 86 0 57
Total 2317 8134 1751 2646 534 1922 .325 .428 .609 458 125 1452 1311 13 71 87 0 69

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1925 PHI A C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1926 PHI A C 12 0 0 19 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1926 PHI A OF 3 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1927 PHI A 1B 32 0 0 258 15 7 10 0 0 0 0 0 .975
1927 PHI A C 5 0 0 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1928 PHI A 1B 30 0 0 273 6 2 19 0 0 0 0 0 .993
1928 PHI A C 19 0 0 84 20 3 4 0 1 0 0 0 .972
1928 PHI A 3B 60 0 0 59 129 12 9 0 0 0 0 0 .940
1929 PHI A 3B 8 0 0 7 17 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 .960
1929 PHI A 1B 142 0 0 1226 74 6 98 0 0 0 0 0 .995
1930 PHI A 1B 153 0 0 1362 79 14 101 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1931 PHI A 3B 26 0 0 24 55 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 .908
1931 PHI A OF 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1931 PHI A 1B 112 0 0 964 49 7 89 0 0 0 0 0 .993
1932 PHI A 3B 13 0 0 10 18 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .933
1932 PHI A 1B 141 0 0 1328 79 9 115 0 0 0 0 0 .994
1933 PHI A 1B 149 0 0 1402 93 15 98 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1933 PHI A SS 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1934 PHI A 1B 140 0 0 1378 85 10 133 0 0 0 0 0 .993
1934 PHI A 3B 9 0 0 10 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1935 PHI A C 26 0 0 116 16 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 .992
1935 PHI A 3B 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1935 PHI A 1B 121 0 0 1109 77 3 107 0 0 0 0 0 .997
1936 BOS A OF 16 0 0 27 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .964
1936 BOS A 3B 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1936 BOS A 1B 139 0 0 1226 76 12 108 0 0 0 0 0 .991
1937 BOS A 1B 150 0 0 1287 106 8 122 0 0 0 0 0 .994
1937 BOS A C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1938 BOS A 1B 149 0 0 1282 116 19 153 0 0 0 0 0 .987
1939 BOS A 1B 123 0 0 1101 91 10 104 0 0 0 0 0 .992
1939 BOS A P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1940 BOS A C 42 0 0 178 18 1 2 0 7 0 0 0 .995
1940 BOS A 3B 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1940 BOS A 1B 95 0 0 844 79 9 87 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1941 BOS A 3B 5 0 0 7 6 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .765
1941 BOS A OF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1941 BOS A 1B 124 0 0 1155 112 10 105 0 0 0 0 0 .992
1942 CHI N 1B 52 0 0 489 24 9 32 0 0 0 0 0 .983
1942 CHI N C 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1942 BOS A 1B 27 0 0 231 34 1 28 0 0 0 0 0 .996
1942 Total 1B 79 0 0 720 58 10 60 0 0 0 0 0 .987
1944 CHI N C 1 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1944 CHI N 3B 2 0 0 2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1945 PHI N P 9 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1945 PHI N 1B 40 0 0 292 27 4 19 0 0 0 0 0 .988
1945 PHI N 3B 14 0 0 10 26 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .900
Total C 108 0 0 420 60 5 7 0 9 0 0 0 .990
Total SS 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 1B 1919 0 0 17207 1222 155 1528 0 0 0 0 0 .992
Total OF 21 0 0 36 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .973
Total 3B 141 0 0 132 278 31 18 0 0 0 0 0 .930
Total P 10 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000

Pitching Stats

Year Team G GS W L ERA K R ER CG SHO SV IP H HR BB IB WP HBP
1939 BOS A 1 0 0 0 .00 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
1945 PHI N 9 2 1 0 1.59 10 4 4 0 0 0 22.2 13 0 14 0 0 1
Total NL 9 2 1 0 1.59 10 4 4 0 0 0 22.2 13 0 14 0 0 1
Total AL 1 0 0 0 .00 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 10 2 1 0 1.52 11 4 4 0 0 0 23.2 13 0 14 0 0 1

Transactions

Trivia

Career Highlights

  • Won the AL MVP in 1932, 1933, and 1938
  • Won the Triple Crown in 1933
  • All-Star Games: 9 times (1933-1941
  • World Series Champion: 2 times (1929 and 1930, both with the Philadelphia Athletics)
  • Led the league in batting average two times, finished 2nd 2 times, and finished 3rd once. His .325 career mark is good enough for 41st all-time
  • Finished in the top 3 in OBP 9 times. His .428 career mark is good enough for 11th best all-time
  • Led the league in SLG 5 times, finished in the top 5 six other times, and his .609 career mark is good enough for 5th all-time
  • Played in 2317 career games, good enough for 94th all-time
  • Finished in the top five in runs 7 times and his 1751 all-time mark is good enough for 20th all-time
  • Finished in the top five in total bases 9 times and had 4956 in his career, good enough for 18th all-time
  • Finished in the top five in HR 12 times and hit 534 in his career, good enough for 14th best all-time
  • Finished in the top five in walks 10 times and had 1452 for his career, good enough for 19th all-time
  • Led the league in strikeouts 7 times
  • Member of 1.0 OPS Club


See also

External links

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