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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Margalus: A Foxmas Story: Nellie Fox’s day of rest

Big chaw/little break.

You see, Marty Marion wanted to give his second baseman the day off.

Marion hinted at the notion a couple days before. In a Chicago Daily Tribune story from Aug. 4, 1955, Marion called his team a “tired team,” adding:

  “A lot of guys there need rest; they’re dragging,” said Marty. “I don’t want a tired team on my hands. I’d like to rest Lollar [Sherm], Dropo [Walt], and Busby, even if Jim is paying a great defensive game. Those three guys have lost the steam in their bats. Even Nellie Fox looks like he needs some rest.”

Marion had his reasons. Fox was hitting a remarkable .335/.394/.472 entering July, but cooled off with a .248/.317/.272 line over the following month. The arrival of August didn’t change his fortunes, and the White Sox scuffled along with him. They lost three straight from Aug. 3-5, falling into a three-way tie for first with the Yankees and Indians with 50 games to go.

...The Sox ended up losing, 8-1, but they held onto their share of first place. The next day, prefaced by a big Tribune headline reading, “SOX RESTORE LITTLE NELL TO 2D TODAY,” Fox returned to the lineup, and both sides were grateful, according to his SABR bio:

  Giving Nellie a day off did not sit well with Fox. While Nellie referred to it as “the most miserable day I ever spent in baseball,” Marion said, “It was the most miserable day of my life too – having to listen to him gripe from the bench.”

Marion defended his decision, telling reporters, “Just one day’s rest will do wonders for a player who wants to play.” However, the brief respite didn’t break his slump. Fox went a mere 1-for-6 in his first game back, then followed that up by going hitless over his next 21 plate appearances.

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2012 at 06:32 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, white sox

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   1. bobm Posted: December 25, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4332195)

Today would be Nellie Fox's 85th birthday, so even if Santa isn't a part of your holiday season, White Sox fans still have something to celebrate today. Merry Christmas and Nellie Foxmas, everybody!
   2. bobm Posted: December 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4332207)
Other selected birthdays today:

                        Born Yrs
            Ruben Gotay 1982   4
          Willy Taveras 1981   7
         Hideki Okajima 1975   5
   Rickey Henderson HOF 1958  25
            Charlie Lea 1956   7
          Rick Anderson 1953   2
           Manny Trillo 1950  17
            Gene Lamont 1946   5
            Ben Chapman 1908  15
         Pud Galvin HOF 1856  15

   3. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4332211)
Other selected birthdays today:

Rickey Henderson HOF 1958 25

Why does this seem...I dunno, appropriate?
   4. AROM Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4332220)
The greatest base thief ever and the man whose dad commanded "thou shalt not steal" sharing a birthday is cool.
   5. beer on a stick Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4332274)
The greatest base thief ever and the man whose dad commanded "thou shalt not steal" sharing a birthday is cool.

Who's the other guy with the dad thinks he's a cop?

I kid, I kid...Happy Holidays everyone!
   6. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 25, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4332285)
Other selected birthdays today

Today's birthday team is incredibly redundant. The six longest-tenured position players are:

Fast corner outfielders - Rickey Henderson, Ben Chapman, Jo-Jo Moore (Chapman did play both center and right at times, so you can at least get all three of them on the field)
Slap-hitting second basemen - Nellie Fox, Manny Trillo, Joe Quinn (Quinn is probably your shortstop, and Trillo is the utility infielder with Gene Robertson and Walter Holke on the corners)

The catcher is Quincy Trouppe (there's no MLB competition at all), and Galvin is the ace of the staff, so it's a 4-HOMer lineup; that'll win the team some games in the birthday league. For that matter, the rest of the starting pitchers aren't embarrassing. Okajima and his 6 saves may well be the closer.
   7. gef, more dangerous than a monkey w/ a razor blade Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4332365)
My sister was born on 12/25 back in '63. The youngest daughter of the family that lived behind us was born a year later to the day. Odd.

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