Foxx, Ott enter Hall of Fame together

Written by: Matt Kramer

Today, their numbers remain indisputably impressive.

But when they retired, Jimmie Foxx and Mel Ott ranked only below Babe Ruth as the greatest power hitters of all-time.

On Jan. 26, 1951, two great sluggers with 500-plus home runs apiece were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Ott, the New York Giants’ infielder/outfielder, and Foxx, the intimidating first baseman of the A’s and Red Sox, were the only two players elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.

Ott was named on 87.2 percent of the ballots in his third year. Making his MLB debut at the age of 17, Ott enjoyed a 22-year career with the New York Giants in which he made 11 All-Star game appearances, won three National League pennants and one World Series championship in 1933 over the Washington Senators.

His former manager, John McGraw, raved, “He’s got the finest natural swing I’ve ever seen. I’ll miss my guess if he doesn’t become the greatest hitter we’ve ever had at the Polo Grounds.”

Ott belted 511 home runs, hitting 30 or more home runs eight different times while sharing top home run honors on six occasions.

Along with Ott, Foxx joined baseball’s elite after collecting 79.2 percent of the vote in his seventh year of eligibility.

One of the game’s true power hitters, The Beast hammered 534 career home runs, becoming only the second player to reach 500. He hit 30 or more home runs in 12 consecutive seasons with the Philadelphia A’s and Boston Red Sox and drove in more than 100 runs 13 consecutive years, including a career-best 175 with Boston in 1938.

“The balls that Foxx drove for distance throughout the American League and in three World Series are still talked about in the dugouts of the majors,” Ed Rumill, a 1972 sports editor for Christian Science Monitor wrote. “No right-hand hitter ever had more power.”

Foxx won the Most Valuable Player Award on three different occasions including back-to-back American League MVP Awards in 1932 and 1933, winning the Triple Crown in 1933.

Matt Kramer was a public relations intern at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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