Historical Hitter

Historical Hitter September 7: Jimmy Foxx

From 1928 until 1941, Jimmy Foxx was baseballs most feared right handed home run hitter. When he retired in 1945, he has slugged 534 home runs, hit .325, had an OPS 1.038 and an OPS+ of 163. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951.

September 7th was a good day for the player known as Double X, not on one occasion, but twice; after all, his name is not Fox, but Foxx. His proclivity to do significant baseball feats in two’s is unmatched in baseball. He was the only slugger without any connections to steroids to hit 200 home runs with two different clubs (A’s and Red Sox); he had two six-hit games – both of them extra inning affairs, and won Two World Series titles in his storied Hall of Fame career, and two batting titles in 1933 and 1938.

Foxx’s prowess was not limited by the number two. He earned three Home run and three RBI titles, won three AL MVP awards and was a nine time All-Star. And in an irrelevant coincidence, he played in 9 career doubleheaders on this day.

On September 7th., Foxx hit for a career cycle: Home Run (1934), Triple (1931), Double (1936), and Single (1929).

Jimmy FoxxHe had two two-home run days of September 7th one for the A’s in 1935 and the other for the Red Sox in 1938. In 1935, an A’s loss to the Tigers, he hit two two-run home runs that generated 4 RBI; in 1938 with the Red Sox he added a double to his home runs for a total of 8 RBI. The Sox beat the Yankees that day. The totals for Foxx on just these two September Sevenths are 4 home runs, one double and 12 RBI.

He was a baseball natural having signed by the Philadelphia A’s after being discovered by Eastern Shore native Frank “Home Run” Baker. His first major league season of 1925 he was only 17, and saw action in 10 games and saw more on the A’s bench. His rookie season of 1925 was cut short as he returned home to Sudlersville, Maryland to finish his senior year of high school!

He was known for his strength, home run hitting, generosity towards teammates, and fear instilled in opposition pitchers. He holds the record for being given 6 walks in on game. Finally he was the AL Triple Crown winner in 1933. Yet his 1932 season he posted better statistics: 4 more home runs, six more RBI and 8 points higher average. Lefty Gomez was so scared that he did not want to see Foxx clearly.

“I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven’t been able to wear glasses since.”

His power hitting impressed his teammate Ted Williams to exclaim:

“You just can’t imagine how far he could hit a baseball.”

Foxx-Hitting-BaseballYet he was known for his accessibility and kindness towards the fans. In 1929 his fame transcended the diamond as he was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. On the day he was inducted in the Hall of Fame, he spent most his time under a tree signing autographs. After his playing days he spent one year as manager of the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All American Girls Baseball League, and as hitting coach for the Minneapolis Millers. Despite his superhuman strength and abilities on the field, his post- baseball life was characterized by a sense of sadness and increasing melancholy. Nevertheless, September 7th is the day to remember one of the best hitters in the history of baseball, James Emory Foxx.


Baseball Hall of Fame. http://baseballhall.org/hof/foxx-jimmie




SABR BioProject by John Bennet http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/e34a045d

Jimmie Foxx on the cover of TIME, July 29, 1929. PD as the copyright was not renewed, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Time_%28magazine%29/Archive_1#Public_domain_issues Source: http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/time/7

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