He was just 17 years old when he stepped onto a big league field for the first time. His career would last 20 years and include MVP awards, World Series titles and everlasting respect from his peers for his friendly disposition. Life didn’t always treat him well, especially in retirement, but Jimmie Foxx baseball cards belong on the list of any collector assembling a representation of the best, most popular sluggers of all-time.
For the first half of his time in the majors, Foxx was the non-Yankee fan’s answer to Babe Ruth. He hit 58 homers in 1932 and won the Triple Crown in ’33. He led the Philadelphia Athletics to World Series titles in 1929 and 1930. Later, he was sold to the Boston Red Sox where he’d cement his place among the immortals.
Here are five Jimmie Foxx cards that do a solid job representing the career of the man affectionately known as “The Beast” and provide good value for your dollar.
1929 Kashin Publications: There aren’t many cards from the first few years of Foxx’s career because there simply weren’t very many baseball cards issued, period. Foxx is one of the keys to this 101-card black-and-white issue. Originally sold in packs, it’s one of the more attractively priced cards and there usually are a few on eBay.
1932 U.S. Caramel: Issued the year he won the first of his three MVP awards, the 1932 U.S. Caramel issue shows Foxx entering his prime. He led the league in runs (151), homers (58) and RBI (169). One of the rarest and most desirable 1930s issues, the U.S. Caramel Foxx isn’t cheap or readily available as you can see here, but represents an excellent long-term value.
1933 Tattoo Orbit: His two 1933 Goudey cards (both using the same photo) may be more popular but we’ll take the R305. The unique design that screams 1930s is cool but here’s the more important part: only 70 Tattoo Orbit Foxx cards have been graded by PSA and SGC combined. That makes those that are available online at an almost inexplicably good value.
1934 Goudey: The Boston gum maker made Foxx the #1 card in its second major set, the ultimate cardboard tribute to the man who had just earned the Triple Crown months earlier. Because it sat on top of any youngster’s numerically sorted stack, it’s hard to find in higher grade. A crease-free, graded example in the 3-4 range can still be had for under $400, however.
1934-36 Diamond Stars: One of Foxx’s most interesting cards for a couple of reasons. First, it bridges the time between his A’s career and his debut with the Red Sox. Impacted by the Great Depression, Foxx’s sale to Boston was monumental news. Secondly, the card shows Double X as a catcher, the position at which he was drafted by Connie Mack’s club years earlier. Foxx only played about five percent of his career behind the plate. The Diamond Stars card also carries the distinctive art deco look of the 30s and best of all, Foxx’s card is relatively inexpensive.
1938 Goudey Heads Up: When he was named the American League’s MVP in early November of 1938, Foxx became the first three-time winner of the award. Unlike many of his other cards, the Heads Up issue shows off the Foxx grin. The unique design work on the Heads Up issue combined with the year of issue, makes it an important part of the Foxx checklist. Mid-grade examples are an easy score at a few hundred dollars.
1941 Play Ball: Foxx reached the 500 homer plateau in 1940. He was just 32, getting there at an even younger age than Babe Ruth. It would be his last big season and while Play Ball’s first issue came out that year, it was black and white. The art work on the ’41 Play Ball depicts Foxx in a full-length pose, bat cradled between his two big paws. The back refers to him as “one of the seven wonders of the American League.” Part of the last major baseball card set prior to World War II, the Foxx card can be found in very respectable condition for under $400.