Jimmie Foxx and Chuck Klein made Philadelphia the center of the baseball universe

July 30th, 2019 Leave a comment

Philadelphia sluggers Chuck Klein and Jimmie Foxx

From 1929 through 1933, Jimmie Foxx and Chuck Klein put on a show and treated Philadelphia to the greatest era its baseball fans ever knew.

During the five-year run, Klein led the league in homers four times and finished second once. He wasn’t just a slugger. Starting in 1929, Klein reeled off at least 200 hits each year through 1933 to become the only player to reach the mark in each of each of his first five full big league seasons. Incredibly, he averaged 224 hits per year and hit .359.

In 1932 the Phillies right fielder captured the National League Most Valuable Player Award. He followed up that season with by winning the Triple Crown in ’33.

Klein’s team struggles; Foxx’s shines

While Klein put up outstanding individual numbers his Phillies struggled. Under manager Burt Shotton, the Phillies finished last twice and went a combined 113 games below .500. Their only first-division finish came in 1932 when they finished in fourth place, two games above the break-even mark.

Predictably, fans didn’t embrace the woeful team. From 1929-1933 the Phillies ranked last in the league in attendance four times, averaging just over a half-million fans per season.

Foxx’s Athletics provided a stark contrast.

The dynasty that time forgot, the A’s were a formidable team. Three times in five years Connie Mack’s team boasted the AL batting champ; the other two seasons a Philadelphia man was the runner up.

In 1929 they went 104-46 and finished 18 games ahead of the two-time defending Word Series champion Yankees to win the American League pennant. In the Fall Classic the Athletics rolled over Joe McCarthy‘s Cubs four games to one.

Their dominance continued in 1930 when they won 102 games on their way to their second straight World Series title. The following season the A’s went 107-45 in the regular season but dropped a seven-game set to the St. Louis Cardinals.

From there, Foxx led the way. In 1932 he was the AL Most Valuable Player, leading the league with 58 home runs an 169 runs batted in. In ’33 he doubled his pleasure, again winning the MVP, this time as the AL Triple Crown winner.

The two men dominate their leagues

Foxx and Klein were simply dominant. Only 18 men in baseball history tallied at least 400 total bases in a single season. The two Philadelphia Hall of Famers did it five times from 1929-1933 – Klein in ’29, ’30, and ’32, Foxx in ’32 and ’33. During the five-year run the pair combined for 2,056 hits, 386 homers, 1,419 RBI, and a .350 average.

In 1932 Foxx and Klein became the first pair from one market to earn the MVP in the same season. The next year’s performance was even more remarkable. Foxx and Klein made the Triple Crown an all-Philadelphia affair, the only time in baseball history each league had such dominance in the same season, let alone the same city.

From 1929 through 1933 baseball in the City of Brotherly Love had a historic run. The city hosted three World Series. Jimmie Foxx and Chuck Klein combined to give fans in Philadelphia six home run titles, a pair of batting crowns, three Most Valuable Player Awards, and two Triple Crowns.

For those five seasons the two Hall of Fame hitters made Philadelphia the center of the baseball universe.

Reach the author of this story at JSmiley@CooperstownExpert.com

Be sure to check outĀ CooperstownExpert.com, the internetā€™s leading website for the display of museum-quality baseball autographs and memorabilia.

In The Collection:

The Philadelphia Athletics Jimmie Foxx was one of the most explosive hitters in the game

The Philadelphia Athletics Jimmie Foxx was one of the most explosive hitters in the game

One can only imagine growing up in Philadelphia when Jimmie Foxx was in his prime. From 1929-1931 Foxx helped his team to three straight World Series appearances and two titles.

Chuck Klein's first five full seasons as a big leaguer in Philadelphia were unmatched in baseball history

Chuck Klein's first five full seasons as a big leaguer in Philadelphia were unmatched in baseball history

From 1929-1933, Chuck Klein hit won a Triple Crown, an MVP, four home run titles and a batting championship. During those five years in Philadelphia, he hit .359 with a .414 on-base percentage.

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseballā€¦"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954