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.
Template:MLB HoF 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. Only 5'9", he made up for his modest size and minimal power (he hit only 35 home runs in his career) with his good batting eye, excellent fielding, and baserunning speed. In 1959, he batted .306 and had an on base percentage of .380. Although not known as a great hitter (lifetime .288 batting average), he batted over .300 six times, with 2663 hits, 355 doubles, and 112 triples. He also led the league in singles for seven straight years, in triples once, and in hits four times. In addition, he won three Gold Gloves and was a twelve-time All Star.
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.
- The first White Sox player elected MVP of the American League.
- Only 216 careerstrikeouts 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 Award winner.
- Hold American League record for most double plays by a second baseman; second-most in the majors after 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.
Nellie was the toughest out for me. In 12 years I struck him out once, and I think the umpire blew the call. -Yankees' Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford