Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jacob Nelson "Nellie" Fox (December 25, 1927 - December 1, 1975) was a Major League Baseball second baseman for the Chicago White Sox and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fox is best known for the White Sox's 1959 World Series season, when he was selected as the MVP of the American League.
Fox was born in St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania. In his career he played with the Philadelphia Athletics (1947-49), the White Sox (1950-63), and the Houston Colt .45s and Astros. He was traded by the Athletics to Chicago on October 29, 1949.
With the White Sox, Fox worked alongside shortstops like Venezuelans Chico Carrasquel (1950-55) and hall-of-famer Luis Aparicio (1956-62), and was, year after year, a member of the strongest infield in the League.
Standing at only 5'9", Fox only hit 35 home runs in his career. In 1959, he batted .306 and reached base .380 of the time. Although not known as a great hitter (lifetime .288 batting average), he composed six above .300 seasons. He also led the league in singles for seven straight years.
Fox was not selected to the Hall of Fame in his initial period of eligibility. In his final opportunity, in 1985, he gained 74.6 percent of the vote when 75 percent was required for election by the Baseball Writers Association of America. However, the longtime disappointment of his admirers was finally relieved in 1997, when the Veterans Committee elected him to membership in the Hall.
Nellie Fox died in Baltimore, Maryland, at the age of 48.
- The first White Sox player elected MVP of the American League.
- Only 216 career strikeouts in over 9,200 at-bats: the 3rd best percentage in MLB history.
- Set the record for consecutive games played at second base, with 798.
- 12-time All-Star.
- 3-time Gold Glove winner.
- Turned more double plays than anyone except Bill Mazeroski.
- Between 1959 and 1960 the Aparicio-Fox duo won twice Gold Gloves, starting a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman combinations have won the honor in the same season while playing together.
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. - Hall of Fame manager Al Lopez.
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