Inductee — Ervin Fox

fox2_6Ervin Fox

Class of 1980

Birthplace: Evansville, IN

Outfielder

Deceased

Biography:

FOX, Ervin (“Pete”)  born March 8, 1909, Evansville; died July 5, 1966, Detroit, Mich. Detroit (AL) 1933-1940, Boston (AL) 1941-1945. OF. 1,461g, 5,636ab 65hr, .298. Debuted Apr. 12, 1933. 5-11, 165, BR, TR.

The Detroit Tigers right fielder during most of the Depression years, strong-armed Pete Fox was a capable hitter and base runner. The son of an Evansville fire captain, Fox pitched in sandlot leagues before signing with the local Three-I League club in 1929. At Beaumont in 1932 Fox led the Texas League with a .357 average. Called “Rabbit” by Beaumont fans because of his speed, Foxs nickname evolved into “Peter Rabbit” and, eventually, “Pete.”

Fox joined the Tigers in 1933 and played for three pennant-winning teams. He set a record in 1934 for the most doubles (six) in a seven-game World Series. Fox batted a Series-high .385 in Detroits win over the Chicago Cubs in 1935. Although he compiled a 29-game hitting streak in 1935, Foxs best season was 1937 when he batted .331. His .994 fielding percentage topped AL outfielders in 1938.

By 1941 Fox was a part-time player for the Red Sox. He earned a starting role in 1943 after Boston regulars like Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio entered military service. At age 35 in 1934, Fox made the all-star team for the first time. He also made a run at the batting title, finishing at .315.

The 1945 season was his last in the majors, but Fox remained in baseball. After playing in the Pacific Coast League in 1946 he managed at Pawtucket (New England), Waterloo (Three-I) and Hot Springs (Cotton States). He later scouted for the Chicago White Sox. When cataracts impaired Foxs vision in the early Fifties, he took a job with a Detroit firm owned by a boyhood friend from Evansville.

Foxs son Don pitched in the Red Sox chain. Another son, James, was an all-city football player at Evansvilles Bosse High School. Fox died at 57, a victim of cancer. A member of Evansvilles Sports Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

From The Encyclopedia of Indiana-Born Major League Baseball Players, copyright © 2007 by Pete Cava. Reproduced with the authors permission.