Dateline: October 19, 1949: A’s traded Nellie Fox to White Sox for catcher Joe Tipton.
In 1943 the 16-year old Nelson Fox talked his parents in letting him tryout at the wartime spring training camp of the now-defunct Philadelphia Athletics. A’s owner/manager Connie Mack liked the hustling Nellie Fox and his ability to make contact with the pitchers fastball. Fox spent the next 2 summers playing in the A’s minor league system. Then after serving in the US Military the 5 ft 9 inch 190 pound Nellie Fox was called up to Philadelphia in 1949 and batted .255 in 88 games at 2nd base rotating with veteran Pete Suder.
Connie Mack seeking to improve on a 5th place finish in the then 8-team American League knew at that time Pete Suder, who was the A’s regular second baseman since 1941 provided the team with some batting power. And, since the team needed an experienced catcher traded Fox to the Chicago White Sox for a well-regarded catcher, Joe Tipton 5 ft 11 inches, 185 pounds.
Here’s the story from the 1950 edition of ‘Who’s Who Magazine’:
Joe Tipton, RH, The fiery, pugnacious catcher was acquired from the White Sox last winter, and may be a star for Connie Mack who knows how to handle temperamental ball players...Nelson Fox Bats Left, Throws Right, The 22-year-old 2nd baseman came from the A’s in trade last winter. An excellent prospect...Philadelphia fell into last place in 1950 with a poor 52-102 record, the White Sox were 6th with a 60-94 record..
John R Balazs a Baseball Historian Notes:
Nicknamed ‘the Mighty Mite’ Nellie Fox batted over .300 six times, was chosen 12 times as an AL All-Star second baseman, tied for the AL lead in hits 4 times, and led the league 11 times in fewest strikeouts by a batter. Nellie Fox played a major role in Chicago winning the 1959 pennant. And, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame...Joe Tipton had a solid career as a catcher but was not a big star in any way. As a rookie in 1948 with Cleveland hit a career-best .289 in 47 games. In 1950 with Philadelphia Joe Tipton batted .266 in 64 games, with 12 extra base hits. He finished with a career batting mark of .236 in 417 games, with 70 extra bases. Played from 1948 thru 1954.
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