Kaplan: Jimmie Foxx: The sad ending of a Hall of Fame life

From SABR member Ron Kaplan at The National Pastime Museum on July 19, 2017:

The day after Babe Ruth passed away on August 16, 1948, at the age of 53 after a long battle with cancer, his obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Times. The happy-go-lucky slugger, whom many sportswriters and baseball officials credited with saving the National Pastime in the wake of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, garnered similar front-page news around the country, and stories of his funeral received major attention for days.

By comparison, when Jimmie Foxx died suddenly on July 21, 1967, just before his 60th birthday, his passing received barely a ripple in the press. This despite the fact that at the time of his demise, Foxx—a.k.a. “The Beast” for his powerful build; “The Maryland Strong Boy” for his geographic roots; and “Double-X” for, well, Foxx—was third on the all-time home run list with 534 behind only Ruth’s 714 and Willie Mays, who had amassed 555 round-trippers by the time Foxx expired.

Foxx succumbed to asphyxiation, although early reports attributed his demise to a heart attack. Tragically, his second wife, Dorothy, died of the same situation just months before.

For most of his 20-year career, James Emory Foxx seemed like the prototype for those heroes in sports stories written for young boys

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/jimmie-foxx-sad-ending-hall-fame-life

Originally published: July 19, 2017. Last Updated: July 19, 2017.