Jimmie Foxx hits for the cycle and drives in a then-AL record nine runs

Written by: Andrew Kivette

How tough is it to hit for the cycle?

At least as difficult as throwing a no-hitter, hitting four home runs in a game or even winning the Triple Crown, according to the numbers.

How rare is hitting for the cycle, exactly? In MLB history, there are an average of about two per year.

On Aug. 14, 1933, Philadelphia A’s first baseman Jimmie Foxx not only hit for the cycle, he drove in nine runs as well – breaking Roy Hartzell’s previous American League record of eight RBI, set in 1911. Foxx’s feat on that summer day in Cleveland ranks among the all-time great individual performances in baseball.

Rightfully nicknamed “The Beast”, Foxx went 5-for-5, recording nine RBI and single-handily leading the Philadelphia Athletics to an 11-5 victory over the Indians.

The game played in mid-August of 1933 seemed to be a microcosm of Foxx’s career.

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In Foxx’s 20-year career, he brought home three Most Valuable Player Awards and was a nine-time All-Star. “Next to DiMaggio, [Jimmie Foxx] was the greatest player I ever saw,” remarked Ted Williams.

He was a major contributor on two world champion teams in Philadelphia – 1929 and 1930. Foxx left Philadelphia following the 1935 season, as he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He would return to The City of Brotherly Love for his farewell season – 1945 – but this time he would play for the National League’s Philadelphia team, the Phillies.

Primarily a first baseman, Jimmie Foxx spent 108 games behind the plate. In Foxx’s 20-year career, he brought home three Most Valuable Player Awards and was a nine-time All-Star. (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

In his career, Foxx was known around baseball as one of the game’s toughest outs– he was notorious for the long ball and pitchers feared him for his big swing. “No matter how hard I throw the ball, he always hit it back harder,” former Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez said. “When he got good wood on a pitch, it took you 20 minutes to walk where the ball landed. He was the only hitter I ever saw who could hit balls on his fist and still get them out of the park.”

Foxx finished his illustrious career with 534 home runs and was a .325 hitter, tallying 2,646 hits. Thriving when it mattered most, he played in 18 career postseason contests and was a .344 hitter in those games, with four home runs and 11 runs batted in. And when he retired following the 1945 season, only Babe Ruth had more career home runs than Foxx.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951, Foxx passed away on July 21, 1967.


Andrew Kivette was the 2013 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development
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