Jimmie Foxx

     One of baseball's all-time great sluggers, Jimmie Foxx also ranks up there with the all-time great nice guys in baseball history. The native of Maryland's Eastern shore was a baseball prodigy, showing amazing power at an early age. He always acknowledged that he gained his amazing strength from working on his family's farm. After being scouted by Frank "Home Run" Baker, he signed with Baker's Easton Club of the Eastern Shore League. There he becamse Baker's protégé. On recommendation from Baker, Connie Mack signed Foxx to play for his A's.

     On a team that had such hard-asses like Lefty Grove and Mickey Cochrane, and Doc Cramer, Jimmie stood out with his wonderful disposition. His massive muscles and overall menacing look at the plate belied a player who was always jovial, happy and willing to have a good time. Known as "Double X" and "The Beast" because of his power at the plate, he was noted for his tape measure home runs that have since become legend. When after he hit a home run off Lefty Gomez at Yankee Stadium, a home run that incidentally broke a seat in the left field upper deck, Foxx did not make a huge deal of it, instead going about his business with class, and when interviewed later on, did not make a huge deal out of it. Then again, mammoth home runs were the norm for Foxx. It should be noted that Foxx's home runs off of "El Goofy" were a major source of kidding between the two superstars. Besides being known for his huge generosity (he would pay for bar tabs and hotel bills without hesitation), he was known as a free spirit who loved his cigars and his booze, but it never tarnished his image as a great all around guy, even if he did imbibe in alcohol now and then.

     After years in Philadelphia playing under the penurious Connie Mack, he finally started making good when he was traded to Boston. Tom Yawkey, who always paid his players well, even gave Foxx a share in gate receipts. Universally liked, almost everyone loved him, from Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth to Ted Williams. He always went out of the way to befriend new teammates and rookies.
In July of 1967, after years of bad investments and ill health, Foxx died on the way to the hospital after he choked on a piece of meat in the backyard of his brother. By that time, he was a beaten and broken man, and those close to him felt that Jimmie had finally just given up, and did not have the will to live anymore. It was a very sad ending to a simply great, great guy.