- Nellie Fox
Fox in about 1953.
Second Baseman Born: December 25, 1927
St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania
Died: December 1, 1975(aged 47)
Batted: Left Threw: Right MLB debut June 8, 1947 for the Philadelphia Athletics Last MLB appearance July 24, 1965 for the Houston Astros Career statistics Batting average .288 Hits 2,663 Runs batted in 790 Teams Career highlights and awards Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction 1997 Vote Veterans Committee
Jacob Nelson Fox (December 25, 1927 – December 1, 1975) was a Major League Baseball second baseman for the Chicago White Sox. Fox was born in St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania. He was selected as the MVP of the American League in 1959. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.
Fox began his career with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1947, though he was never a full-time starter during his three seasons with the team. Traded to the White Sox October 29, 1949, Fox's career took off. He spent 14 seasons with Chicago, making 10 All-Star teams. He played his final two seasons (1964–65) with the Houston Colt .45s and Astros.
With the White Sox, Fox played next to a pair of slick-fielding shortstops, Venezuelans Chico Carrasquel (1950–55) and Luis Aparicio (1956–62), and was, year after year, a member of the best defensive infield in the League. Fox won Gold Gloves in 1957, 1959 and 1960.
Only 5-foot-9, he made up for his modest size and minimal power — he hit only 35 home runs in his career, and never more than six in a single season — with his good batting eye, excellent fielding, and baserunning speed. Fox was perennially one of the toughest batters to strike out, fanning just 216 times in his career, an average of once every 42.7 at-bats which ranks him 3rd all-time. He led the league in most at-bats per strikeouts a phenomenal 13 times in his career. Although not known as a great hitter (lifetime .288 batting average), he batted over .300 six times, with 2,663 hits, 355 doubles, and 112 triples. He also led the league in singles for seven straight years, in triples once, and in hits four times.
Fox died of skin cancer in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1975. He was not selected to the Hall of Fame in his initial period of eligibility. In his final opportunity, 1985, he gained 74.7 percent of the vote, just shy of the 75 percent required for election by the Baseball Writers Association of America. However, in 1997, the Veterans Committee elected him to membership in the Hall.
Fox's best season came in 1959, when the White Sox won their first pennant in 40 years. He batted .306, had an on base percentage of .380 and won his second Gold Glove. The Al Lopez-managed White Sox had the best record in baseball, going 94-60 to finish five games ahead of the Cleveland Indians and a surprising 15 ahead of the New York Yankees. It was one of just two seasons the Yankees would not win the pennant between 1949-1964 (the Indians won it in 1954).
In the World Series, Fox batted a team-high .375 with 3 doubles, but the Sox lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. In Game 5 Fox scored the only run when Sherm Lollar hit into a double play in the fourth inning. (This was only the second time that a World Series game did not have an RBI.) It was Fox's only postseason experience, and the White Sox would not make it back to the World Series until 2005.
Nellie Fox's number 2 was retired by the Chicago White Sox in 1976.
- He was the first White Sox player to be elected MVP of the American League.
- He had only 216 career strikeouts in more than 9,200 at-bats: the 4th best percentage in MLB history.
- Fox set the record for consecutive games played at second base, with 798 (August 7, 1956, through September 3, 1960).
- He was a 12–time All-Star.
- Nellie Fox collected 3 Gold Glove Awards for excellent defensive play at second base.
- Upon his retirement, he held the American League record for being involved in the most double plays by a second baseman; the second highest Major League total after Bill Mazeroski.
- Between 1959 and 1960 the Aparicio-Fox middle infield duo each won the Gold Glove Award for their respective position, starting a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman combinations who have won the honor in the same season while playing together.
- His uniform number 2 was retired by the White Sox.
- In 2006, two bronze statues, one depicting him, the other depicting his teammate and fellow infielder Luis Aparicio, were unveiled on the outfield concourse of U.S. Cellular Field. Fox's statue depicts him flipping a baseball toward Aparicio, while Aparicio is depicted as preparing to receive the ball from Fox.
- Nellie Fox was well-known for using a thick-handled bat for more control at the plate, giving him an edge in spraying hits to all areas of the field. An entire generation of Little Leaguers and older youth-league players in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s were familiar with the thick-handled wooden Louisville Slugger bat bearing the Nellie Fox facsimile signature.
- Fox also continued to use the smallest fielder's gloves available throughout his career, during the era when gloves were increasing in size and complexity. He modified his gloves by removing excessive or ill-placed padding, to better 'feel' the ball. This served to facilitate smoother transitions to throwing for the completion of double plays at second base. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who was mentored as a rookie by Fox during their concurrent stints with the Astros, details Fox' approach to fielding in his various autobiographies.
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- MLB consecutive games played streaks
- Chicago White Sox all-time roster
Fox is what you'd call a manager's ballplayer. He does his job expertly and he does it every day. He's the type of player you can count on. He's an old pro. A great many times, he is hurting pretty badly from the dumpings he's taken on the field, but he's always ready to play. - manager Al Lopez.
Nellie was the toughest out for me. In 12 years I struck him out once, and I think the umpire blew the call. - New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford
- Nellie Fox at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Nellie Fox at Find a Grave
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball Library
- Bigelow, Robert W. and Zminda, Don “Nellie Fox” in Don Zminda, ed. Go-Go to Glory: The 1959 Chicago White Sox, (Skokie, IL: ACTA Publishing, 2009) reprinted at SABR Bio Project
American League Most Valuable Player
American League MVP Award1931: Grove | 1932: Foxx | 1933: Foxx | 1934: Cochrane | 1935: Greenberg | 1936: Gehrig | 1937: Gehringer | 1938: Foxx | 1939: DiMaggio | 1940: Greenberg | 1941: DiMaggio | 1942: Gordon | 1943: Chandler | 1944: Newhouser | 1945: Newhouser | 1946: Williams | 1947: DiMaggio | 1948: Boudreau | 1949: Williams | 1950: Rizzuto | 1951: Berra | 1952: Shantz | 1953: Rosen | 1954: Berra | 1955: Berra | 1956: Mantle | 1957: Mantle | 1958: Jensen | 1959: Fox | 1960: Maris | 1961: Maris | 1962: Mantle | 1963: Howard | 1964: B. Robinson | 1965: Versalles | 1966: F. Robinson | 1967: Yastrzemski | 1968: McLain | 1969: Killebrew | 1970: Powell | 1971: Blue | 1972: Allen | 1973: Jackson | 1974: Burroughs | 1975: Lynn | 1976: Munson | 1977: Carew | 1978: Rice | 1979: Baylor | 1980: Brett | 1981: Fingers | 1982: Yount | 1983: Ripken, Jr. | 1984: Hernández | 1985: Mattingly | 1986: Clemens | 1987: Bell | 1988: Canseco | 1989: Yount | 1990: Henderson | 1991: Ripken, Jr. | 1992: Eckersley | 1993: Thomas | 1994: Thomas | 1995: Vaughn | 1996: González | 1997: Griffey Jr. | 1998: González | 1999: I. Rodríguez | 2000: Giambi | 2001: Ichiro | 2002: Tejada | 2003: A. Rodriguez | 2004: Guerrero | 2005: A. Rodriguez | 2006: Morneau | 2007: A. Rodriguez | 2008: Pedroia | 2009: Mauer | 2010: Hamilton American League Second Baseman Gold Glove Award1958: Bolling | 1959: Fox | 1960: Fox | 1961: Richardson | 1962: Richardson | 1963: Richardson | 1964: Richardson | 1965: Richardson | 1966: Knoop | 1967: Knoop | 1968: Knoop | 1969: Johnson | 1970: Johnson | 1971: Johnson | 1972: Griffin | 1973: Grich | 1974: Grich | 1975: Grich | 1976: Grich | 1977: White | 1978: White | 1979: White | 1980: White | 1981: White | 1982: White | 1983: Whitaker | 1984: Whitaker | 1985: Whitaker | 1986: White | 1987: White | 1988: Reynolds | 1989: Reynolds | 1990: Reynolds | 1991: Alomar | 1992: Alomar | 1993: Alomar | 1994: Alomar | 1995: Alomar | 1996: Alomar | 1997: Knoblauch | 1998: Alomar | 1999: Alomar | 2000: Alomar | 2001: Alomar | 2002: Boone | 2003: Boone | 2004: Boone | 2005: Hudson | 2006: Grudzielanek | 2007: Polanco | 2008: Pedroia | 2009: Polanco | 2010: Canó | 2011: Pedroia Chicago White Sox retired numbers Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 1997 BBWAA VotePhil Niekro (80.34%) Veterans Committee J. G. Taylor Spink Award Ford C. Frick Award Second basemen inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Chicago White Sox Formerly the Sioux City Cornhuskers, St. Paul Saints, and the White Stockings • Based in Chicago, Illinois The Franchise Ballparks Culture Lore RivalriesChicago Cubs Retired Numbers Key Personnel World Series
Division Championships (5) Minor League
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