In the fall of 1949, the baseball gods sent the angel Abner to Chicago, a city in Illinois, to a general manager pledged to put together a contender for a woman named Grace Comiskey, a descendant of Charles. The GM’s name was Frank Lane. The angel went to him and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The baseball gods are with you."
Putting pressure on the defense
by Craig Brown
May 05, 2008
Jack Cust is in the process of redefining the idea of Three True Outcomes. With 25 home runs, 105 walks and 164 strikeouts in 507 plate appearances in 2007, Cust avoided the defense a whopping 58 percent of the time, the highest rate of any hitter going back to 1956. ... But what about the other end of the spectrum? The guys who, when they come to the plate, keep the defense on their toes? With that in mind, here is a list of five hitters going back to 1956 who have the single-season lowest Three True Outcomes percentage and how they did it.
4. Nellie Fox 1963: 2 HR, 24 BB, 17 SO in 582 plate appearances
True Outcome % - 7.4%
It’s not surprising that Fox would end up on this list as he was the ultimate contact hitter of his era, never striking out more than 18 times in a single season. In fact, Fox was the toughest batter to whiff in 1963, striking out just once every 31.7 at bats. His strikeout rate actually jumped from 1.9 percent in 1962 to (for Fox) a whopping 3.2 percent in 1963. He makes the top five on the strength (or lack thereof) of his 24 walks, which was a career low. For the year, he hit .260/.299/.306 with 140 hits in 539 at bats and his on base percentage was also the lowest mark of his 19-year career. It was his worst full season since his rookie season in 1950.
Like Richardson, Fox was Chicago’s number two hitter (behind either Mike Hershberger or Jim Landis.) The White Sox were in first place as late as June 14 that year, but couldn’t match the Yankees in the power department and faded over the second half of the season before finishing in second place, 10.5 games back.
Fox was traded that offseason to the Houston Colt .45’s in exchange for Danny Murphy and Jim Golden. He played two seasons in Houston and finished his career with a .288/.345/.363 line.
Averaging a strikeout every 42.7 at bats for his career, Fox finished as the fourth most difficult hitter of all time to strikeout. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.