No. 230 Nellie Fox (Number 19 Second Base)

Nellie Fox was not one to sit out many games. He played 150 or more games 11 years in a row. Only the last two of those years were 162 game seasons. In four of those years, he played more games than schedules.

I was working in Pennsylvania once and they had a little salute to Nellie Fox. I talked to one of the gentlemen about Fox missing getting in with the writers by 2 votes. His percentage of votes actually rounder up to the qualified 75 percent, but the Hall of Fame wouldn’t round up to put Fox in. Fox was one of those players whose support slowly increased through the years building up to 75 percent. It was sad he missed by two votes in 1985. I felt that way and I wasn’t a big Nellie Fox supporter.

Fox was finally elected in 1997. Fox had already passed for cancer many years before, but I hoped that gentlemen I talked to was alive to celebrate Fox’s election in 1997. He was an older gentlemen than me, but he was young enough to make it to 1997 fairly easy.

In 1959 Fox won the MVP award. That year, Mantle having an off year he only tied with Fox for the lead league in win shares. Bill James the developer of that formula said it made since the voters voted for Fox, since the White Sox won the pennant and Mantle had a down year for him.  This made me wonder how Fox did with WAR in 1959. Let me check with Baseball Reference.

In 1959, Fox was third in the league in WAR. The leader was Camilo Pascual with 8.6, compared with Fox’s 6.1. However, I think Baseball reference WAR overrates great pitching years to an extent, to I probably would have had Pascual on my ballot, but in the second 5. This was a year of breakouts in 1959. Bobby Allison was rookie of the year, Harmon Killebrew had his first season as a regular leading the league in homeruns and Pascual had over 10 victories for the first time. This trio would help the Minnesota Twins to a great start when the team moved there in 1961. Pascual was the oldest at age 25. It is stretching the truth some it was a breakout season for Pascual as he pitched well in 1958, but didn’t get the run support.

The other player who beat Fox in WAR was Mickey Mantle who had 6.6 WAR. However, even though Mantle has a comfortable lead over Fox I would have voted Fox the MVP for the reasons stated above. So, in my opinion Fox deserved his MVP.

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