Jimmie Foxx

Position: First Baseman
Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, 1925-1935; Boston Red Sox, 1936-1942; Chicago Cubs, 1942; 1944; Philadelphia Phillies, 1945

In an era of big hitters, Jimmie Foxx won four home run titles and two batting titles. As well, he was the first American Leaguer to win consecutive MVP Awards and the first man to win the award three times.

Foxx won one Triple Crown during the 1930s.
Foxx won one Triple Crown
during the 1930s.

James Emory Foxx (1907-1967) grew up on a farm in rural Maryland. He enjoyed both high school track and baseball, and through his athletic ability and immense home runs he became celebrated. Frank “Home Run” Baker -- the former Athletics and Yankees third baseman who was the manager for Easton, Maryland, of the Eastern Shore League -- scouted Foxx pitching in both high school and semipro games.

In 1924, Baker sent Jimmie a penny postcard reading, “Would you be interested in becoming a professional ballplayer? If you are, contact me.” Jimmie signed a contract at age 16, and Baker, short of catchers, put Foxx behind the plate. He caught 76 games, batting .296 with 10 homers.

Both the Yankees and Athletics were interested in Foxx, but Baker steered Jimmie to the A’s as a favor to Connie Mack. Foxx joined Philadelphia in 1924, sitting on the bench next to Mack to learn the American League. Jimmie began the 1925 season in Philadelphia but was soon optioned to Providence of the International League.

He hit .327 there, though curiously he had only one home run in 101 at bats. He was back in Philadelphia in 1926, and from ’26 to 1928, he was a utility player, backing up Mickey Cochrane at catcher and playing first and third.

By the time Foxx became the regular first baseman in 1929, the A’s were a powerhouse. “Double X” formed with Al Simmons and Lefty Grove the heart of Mack’s last great team, and appeared in three consecutive World Series from 1929 to 1931. Foxx and Simmons combined for 192 home runs and Grove was 79-15 in those three years.

Jimmie won consecutive MVP Awards in 1932 and ’33. He had 169 RBI and 58 homers in 1932, and he earned the Triple Crown in 1933 with 48 homers, 163 RBI, and a .356 average. The A’s won two championships before bowing to St. Louis in seven games in 1931. That was to be Foxx’s postseason swan song -- he hit .344 and slugged .609 in 18 World Series games.

Because Connie Mack suffered economically during the Depression, he sold Foxx to Boston in 1936. Ted Williams said, “Jimmie Foxx with all those muscles, hitting drives that sounded like gunfire. Crraack. A hell of a lot louder than mine sounded.” Jimmie hailed his arrival by hitting 41 homers and 143 RBI in ’36.

Though Foxx’s career began to be affected by his drinking, he had enough left for a final burst. After “slumping” to 36 homers, 127 RBI, and a career-low .285 average in 1937, he bounced back in 1938. Foxx hit 50 homers and led the league in RBI and average, winning his third MVP Award. Appendicitis shortened his terrific 1939 season, and 1940 was his last decent year.

When he retired only Ruth had more home runs, and Jimmie slammed more homers than anyone in the 1930s. He had three seasons with slugging averages of over .700. His eyes failed him, however, and he laid down his bat after 1945. Foxx was inducted in 1951.

Here are Jimmie Foxx's major league totals:


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