Jimmie Foxx was a catcher when Frank "Home Run" Baker discovered him playing in Maryland. Since Mickey Cochrane was the Philadelphia A's backstop, Foxx moved to first base - and he stayed there, becoming the second-best first baseman of all time, behind Lou Gehrig.
At bat, Foxx presented a menacing picture. A strong, powerful man, he held the bat at the end and stood fairly deep in the batter's box, using a wide stance and a full stride into the ball. As the pitch approached, his powerful arm muscles flexed visibly before he hit the ball. Like many sluggers, Foxx struck out often, and he led the AL seven times. The three-time MVP and two-time batting champion became the second man in history to hit five-hundred plus home runs. Foxx led the league in slugging percentage 5 times, and he is 4th all time in career slugging percentage. He is 6th all time in RBI with 1921. He is tied with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig for the record of most seasons with 100 or more RBI with 13.
Known for his muscular build and tape-measure shots, the slugging first baseman belted 534 home runs over 20 seasons, including 30 or more a record 12 successive seasons. He hit 58 for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1932, only to miss Babe Ruth's mark when rain erased two others. He took the Triple Crown the following year, repeating as MVP. Foxx had a 50-homer season with the Red Sox in 1938, but Hank Greenberg's 58 cost him a second Triple Crown.
In virtually every AL park, there was a story to tell about a mighty Foxx homer. In Chicago, he hit a ball over the double-decked stands at Comiskey Park, clearing 34th Street. His gigantic clout in Cleveland won the 1935 All-Star Game. In Yankee Stadium, his blast high into the left field upper deck had enough power to break a seat. In St. Louis, his ninth inning blast in Game Five of the 1930 Series just about clinched it for the A's. In Detroit, he hit one of the longest balls ever, way up into the left field bleachers.
Born at Sudlersville, MD, Foxx grew strong doing chores on his father's farm. At age ten, he had had enough of farm life, and tried to join the army. Rejected by the military, he turned to sports, especially his first love, track. He played high school baseball and was soon demonstrating the power which would make him famous. His power displays caught the attention of Frank "Home Run" Baker, who was managing Easton of the Eastern Shore League. After being invited for a tryout, Foxx soon became Baker's protege. Baker owed a favor to his old boss, Connie Mack, and recommended the youngster. Mack took the 17-year-old Foxx in 1925 and sat him next to him on the Athletics' bench for several seasons. Mack had the young Mickey Cochrane at catcher, so he converted Foxx to first base, where he became a regular in 1928.
Foxx never made big money with the financially troubled Athletics, and he had to be unloaded to Tom Yawkey's Boston Red Sox, where he was paid well. A good-natured and well-liked man, he became an immediate favorite. He also took a young slugger under his wing. "I truly loved Foxxie," said Ted Williams some 40 years later.
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