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White Sox trade Nellie Fox to Colts

Dec. 10, 1963 - Nellie Fox, long-time Chicago White Sox second baseman, was traded to the Houston Colts today for two farm hands. Technically, the peppery Fox — who will be 36 years old on Christmas Day and who was reported to have drawn a $42,500 salary last season — was sold to Houston. The White Sox, in turn, purchased Jim Golden, a pitcher, and Dan Murphy, a $100,000 Chicago Cub bonus outfielder, from Houston’s Oklahoma City farm club. “Actually, we may be doing Fox a great favor,” said General Manager Ed Short. “He may play two or three more regular seasons for Paul Richards, the Houston general manager, who really wanted him to stabilize the young Colt infield.” Short hinted Fox might have been dislodged as a Chicago regular next spring. “In effect, this was a trade of Fox for Golden and Murphy,” said Short. “What money was involved balanced off.” The interleague deal was swung with Short unable to inform Fox, who was deer hunting in the mountains near his Chambersburg, Pa., home. “I broke the news to Nellie’s wife, Joanne,” said Short. Few players in Chicago’s tumultuous baseball history had the impact on fans as Little Nellie, a swaggering, tobacco-chewing gamecock who asked no quarter when bigger, hard-charging opponents stormed into his domain at second base. Fox was in the forefront of the White Sox revival. He came to Chicago from the old Philadelphia Athletics in 1950, a year before the White Sox electrified the long dormant south-side fans by ending a seven-year span in the American League’s second division. Fox was no speed demon, but his aggressive style made him a charter member of the “Go, Go” boys. This has been a familiar chant ever since at Comiskey Park. In his 14 seasons with the White Sox, Nellie missed making the All-Star games only three times. Twelve times he led the majors for fewest strikeouts. In 1959, when the White Sox won their first pennant in 40 seasons, Fox was voted the American League’s most valuable player.

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