Thursday, January 31, 2008

Forgotten Superstars-Jimmie Foxx

This installment of Forgotten Superstars features a Hall of Famer from long ago and who's dominance has faded mainly due to being passed on the all-time records list by players that have accumulated their numbers by questionable means and by feasting on watered down expansion era pitching.
Jimmie Foxx died a year before I was even born,so it makes that his name has quietly dropped into the background,but his numbers speak for themselves.
His 534 homers have steadily dropped from the all-time leaders,but until the later 1960's when Willie Mays passed Foxx,"Double X" was second only to Babe Ruth on the career list of home runs.
Foxx debuted at the age of 17 in 1925 with a 10 game cameo appearance in Philadelphia and appeared in just 26 more games the following season,but after a another season of limited playing time,Foxx cemented himself into the Athletic lineup at the age of 20 with 13 homers and an above .300 average.
But those numbers were mild compared to the numbers that the 21 year old Foxx would start to compile starting in 1929.
From that season through 1940,Foxx would never hit less than 30 homers (peaking with 58 in 1932) or fewer than 105 RBI (peaking with 175 in 1938).
The numbers are staggering and one would think the Athletics would have kept Foxx in Philadelphia for good,but the Athletics under owner/manager Connie Mack were always a struggling franchise financially and they could not afford the cost of a star like Foxx,so before the 1936 season,Jimmie was dealt to Boston for pitcher Johnny Marcum and the old standby-Cash.
As in 250,000 dollars,which is a big total to me today,but then was massive.
Foxx kept up his dominance in Beantown with five more huge seasons,but began to slide for the BoSox in 1941,as his homers dropped to 19 and his RBI total to "only"109.
The skills of Foxx were truly eroded though,as he would only hit 25 total homers over the last few years of his career with the Red Sox,Cubs and Phillies as sinus problems that were caused by a beanball earlier in in career basically finished Foxx off.
Foxx was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951 and the question that I have is why was Foxx not a first ballot selection?
I suppose back then,the voters must have been tough judges!
Jimmie Foxx died in 1967 after choking to death in Miami.

A few more interesting facts on Jimmie Foxx

The Tom Hanks character in "A league of their own" was based on Foxx.
Foxx did manage one season in the All-American League.

In 1997,Foxx's birth home of Sudlersville,Maryland erected a bronze life size statue of Foxx.
Perhaps a one day trip???

In Foxx's last season in the War season of 1945,he pitched 25 innings compling a 1-0 record and a tiny 1.59 ERA.

Thanks to the Baseball Biography project for the great facts on Foxx!

Bullpen Notes

Jim Zorn left the Seahawks as their QB coach for the Redskins offensive coordinator position.
Zorn was always a favorite of mine as a player and he will be missed in Seattle.

Our friends at Nationals Farm Authority named Cory Van Allen the 18th best pitcher in the Washington system in their top 30 rankings.
Cory was one of our favorites here and should be at either Potomac or Harrisburg to start the 2008 season.

Just purchased a game to mess around with at work-Fire Pro Wrestling returns is a Japanese import that features all the Japanese stars and a edit feature that enables you to add up to 300 more grapplers.
Look for a future slow day look at pro wrestling in Japan.

On the signing front-
one mail sig from former NHL Goalie Clint Malarchuk.

Please forgive any spelling errors for the next few days as Blogger is having spellcheck problems.


Ryan Heimberger said...

I maintain that Foxx and Eddie Mathews are the most un-appreciated superstars in baseball history.
Yes, both are in the Hall of Fame but are rarely mentioned among the all-time greats despite massive power numbers in eras that the Home Run actually meant something.

Shawn said...

I agree totally.
Foxx always seemed to be the quiet superstar in eras that had bigger named stars and was not the attention grabbing type.
Mathews had a similar problem.

Ryan Heimberger said...

also, still waiting on that Dick Stuart feature.