Let’s just say Lefty Gomez didn’t always enjoy having to face Jimmie Foxx.
“He has muscles in his hair,” the always quotable Yankees pitcher once said.
“The Beast” was just that during his long big league career. He belted 534 homers and batted .325, winning three MVP awards and the Triple Crown in 1933. It all had to start somewhere, though.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day takes you back to 1926 when Foxx was still a teenage catching prospect for the Philadelphia Athletics. The 8 x 9 3/4″ image that’s up for bids originated in the scrapbook of a former teammate of Foxx, who played until 1945.
A Maryland native, Foxx was playing for the Class D Easton Farmers, who were managed by former A’s star Frank “Home Run” Baker. Moved to catcher, his size and ability caught the attention of major league teams and Foxx signed with the A’s and made his debut at age 17 in 1925. He was still a junior in high school.
The photo would be taken the following year. Foxx played in just 18 games for the A’s in ’26, shuffled between positions in a part-time role in ’27 and ’28 and then became a full-time starter at first base in 1929 and would spend the bulk of his career at that position. His career took off and the A’s won back to back championships in 1929 and 1930.
Foxx wasn’t completely done catching, though, appearing in 42 games behind the plate for the Red Sox in 1940. He made a few more appearances there in later years–the last one for the Cubs in 1944-a five-inning stint when he was 36. In all, Foxx made catching appearances in 108 major league games. He’s even pictured as a catcher on his 1930s Diamond Stars card.
The photo is among over 1,300 up for auction through this Saturday.