Charlie Fox

Charles Francis Fox (October 7, 1921 – February 16, 2004) was an American manager, general manager, scout, coach—and, briefly, a catcher—in Major League Baseball. As manager of the National League West Division champion San Francisco Giants in 1971, he was named "Manager of the Year" by The Sporting News.

Charlie Fox
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1921-10-07)October 7, 1921
New York City
Died: February 16, 2004(2004-02-16) (aged 82)
Stanford, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 24, 1942, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1942, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.429
Home runs0
Runs batted in1
Managerial record377–371
Teams
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Early careerEdit

Born in New York City, Fox appeared in only three games as a Major League player—garnering three hits in seven at bats for a career batting average of .429—with the 1942 New York Giants. However, Fox would spend another 33 years at the Major and Minor League level as a player, manager, scout and coach for the Giants, who relocated to San Francisco in 1958.

Fox spent eight years as manager of the Giants' Class C St. Cloud Rox team in the Northern League, scouted from 1957 to 1963, then managed the Giants' Triple-A Tacoma affiliate in the Pacific Coast League in 1964 before coming to the Major Leagues as a San Francisco coach under Herman Franks in 1965. He returned to the PCL to pilot the Giants' Phoenix affiliate in 1969–70 until he was summoned to San Francisco on May 24, 1970 to replace Clyde King as the manager of the MLB Giants. The Giants were stalled in fifth place in the NL West at 19–23 (.452), and had just lost a 15-inning game to San Diego, 17–16, the day before.[1] Under Fox, the 1970 Giants recovered to go 14 games over .500 and finish third, 16 games behind Cincinnati.

Major League managerial careerEdit

Fox led the Giants to the NL West title in 1971, losing to the eventual world champion Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Championship Series. Subsequently, the Giants made a series of bad trades and fell from contention thereafter. On June 27, 1974, after compiling a record of 348–327 (.516), Fox was replaced as manager by former stalwart Giants catcher Wes Westrum.

According to Willie Mays, Fox tried to tell the infielders where to play on the Giants, even though Mays had handled that for years. Mays came up with a system to get around this. "I told the kids (Chris Speier at short and Tito Fuentes at second) that we had to play two games with Fox—his and mine. I would position them first, then let them do what Fox wanted. If he told you to take two steps back, then take three steps forward and back up one. This way they'd be in the same spot they started at. We did that all season (in 1971). Fox never found out."[2]

In 1976, he joined the front office of the Montreal Expos as a special assignment scout and served as the club's " emergency " manager when Karl Kuehl was fired on September 4. After winning only 12 of 34 games to close out the season, Fox was named as the general manager and was later succeeded on the field by Dick Williams. He held the GM title in Montreal through the 1978 season.

Fox, however, was destined to serve another term as an interim manager. In 1983, while working as a special assistant to Chicago Cubs general manager Dallas Green, Fox took over from embattled skipper Lee Elia on August 22 and managed the Cubs for the final 39 games of the season, winning 17 and losing 22. In 1984, he was replaced by Jim Frey. Later on he coached under Green in 1989 with the New York Yankees, and scouted for the Houston Astros.

Fox's career major league managing record was 377–371 (.504).

Fox died at age 82 in Stanford, California and his cremated remains were interred in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Colma, California.

Managerial statisticsEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SFG 1970 67 53 .558 3rd in NL West
SFG 1971 90 72 .556 1st in NL West 1 3 .250 Lost to Pittsburgh Pirates
SFG 1972 69 86 .445 5th in NL West
SFG 1973 88 74 .543 3rd in NL West
SFG 1974 34 42 .447 5th in NL West
MON 1976 12 22 .353 6th in NL East
CHC 1983 17 22 .436 5th in NL East
Total 377 371 .504 1 3 .250

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Retrosheet game long
  2. ^ Mays, Willie (1988). Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 245. ISBN 0671632922.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Whitey Lockman
San Francisco Giants third base coach
1965–1968
Succeeded by
Ozzie Virgil, Sr.
Preceded by
Jim Fanning
Montreal Expos general manager
1976–1978
Succeeded by
John McHale