John Holway / Other Leagues (Ladies Leagues)
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BEER AND CHMPAGNE WITH JIMMIE FOXX
By John B. Holway
In 1952 we had a great ball club. We had the remarkable Weaver sisters -- Jean, Joanne, and Betty Foss, her married name.
Fossie played leftfield and hit .400-something; no one had done that in our league before. She ws built like a a man, very strong and big; she could have competed in a man's league. I don't mean she acted like a man -- she was a good-looking gal and married. But you threw a high pitch, she could reach up and club that ball. And she could run.
Jimmie Foxx was our manager. At that time he had hit more home runs than anyone except Babe Ruth. He had arms like tree trunks. When he took hitting practice, he put two two girls in front of the pitcher to protect her, cleared the infield, and hit the ball on a line, maybe four feet off the ground, and it just atayed that high all the way to the outfield. He'd hit a ball once, you'd pick it up, it was flat. Jimmie was 44 years old then. If the majors had had a DH rule, I'm sure he could have stayed in the big leagues longer.
There's a lot of similarities between Foxx and the character Tom Hanks played in the movie, "A League of Their Own." Jimmie was a great guy, he just wasn't into coaching girls. And he was not too happy about being out of Organized Ball, even if he had himself to blame.
We almost never left on a road trip unless we had at least two bottles of champagne on the bus, and sometimes a case of beer, to boot. I'd sit up front with Jimmie and help with the champagne and beer. We would talk baseball --his baseball, not ours -- and he would tell stories over and over.
But when he was at the ballpark, he just sat at the end of the dugout and reflected on past dreams. Most of the time Tiby Eisen and I ran the club.
/// Next: Ziggy and Johnny Rawlings ///