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.
Posted: December 25, 2012 at 07:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
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