Nellie Fox is focus of museum exhibit

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Allison-Antrim Museum is highlighting the baseball career of Nellie Fox with its exhibit this summer.

Allison-Antrim Museum’s summer exhibition highlights the career of Franklin County’s own major league baseball player Nellie Fox.

Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox (Dec. 25, 1927 – Dec. 1, 1975) grew up in St. Thomas and played for the St. Thomas American Legion baseball team. He did not finish high school because at the age of 16, Connie Mack signed him to play for the Philadelphia Athletics minor league team. Included in the exhibit is the letter that Connie Mack wrote to his mother, Mae Fox.

Fox played for the Athletics for three years – 1947 through 1949; the Chicago White Sox – 1950 through 1963; and finished his playing career (1964 and 1965) with the Houston Colt .45s, which changed its name in 1965 to the Houston Astros. Fox’s Chicago uniform number “2” was retired upon his retirement from baseball.

In 1957, only one Gold Glove was awarded per position, between the National and American leagues. Fox was selected to receive that “one” second baseman Gold Glove in 1957 for “superior individual fielding performance.” In 1958, Gold Glove awards began to be given within each major league. Fox won two more Gold Gloves as second baseman, in 1959 and 1960. He became the first, second baseman to win more than once from either league and the 1960 Gold Glove dubbed him the first, second baseman to win “three.”

In 1959, he led the White Sox to the 1959 World Series and because of his performance that season, Fox was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Fox was the third-most difficult hitter to strike out in major league baseball history. In 19 seasons, he only had 216 strikeouts. To date (2018), Fox holds the Chicago White Sox record of playing the most consecutive games — 798 — the sixth most in the history of the major leagues. He was selected for 13 all-star teams.

In 1975, Fox was diagnosed with cancer and died Dec. 1.

Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in August 1997. Joanne Fox, his wife, received the award and upon accepting it said, “He played with all his heart, all his passion, and with every ounce of his being — that was the best way he could show his appreciation to all those who helped him learn the game that became his life.” 

This exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of Joanne Fox, Fayetteville, and Justin Mayhue, Hagerstown. The exhibit includes memorabilia from Chicago and Houston, game-used bats, a game-worn cap, many photographs including Fox with Yogi Berra and Brooks Robinson, baseball cards, a 1961 Chicago White Sox team-signed ball and a letter from Nellie to Joanne while he was serving during the Korean War. In addition to Nellie Fox memorabilia, the exhibit includes Early Wynn’s May 25, 1954, ball and glove, noting Wynn’s 23rd, two-hit game, while playing for the Indians and a game-used Minnie Minosa bat. Wynn and Minosa were teammates with Fox in Chicago.

There’s no admission charge to the museum, but donations are accepted. The museum is open regularly Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information,, Facebook, on Twitter @greencastlemuzm, or call 717-597-9010.