Rice University Owls basketball and baseball player Jim Fox
Black and white photograph of Rice University Owls basketball and baseball player Jim Fox, class of 1962, accompanied by text headlining his achievement and entry into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: This man has given so much of himself to “the cause” of Rice athletics his membership in the quite selective Rice Athletic Hall of Fame is obvious. He qualifies as an exceptional Owl athlete himself, both in baseball and basketball. But he also has served his alma mater so well in such capacities as a Past President of the “R” Association and the baseball program’s Pinch Hitters Club, and he was a member of the President’s Advisory committee to Athletics. He has served as 1962 Class Chairman for the Rice Annual Fund Drive, and is a long time member of the Owl Club, and he was a Rice grad member of the Houston Chamber of Commerce Athletic Committee. Jim’s special and perhaps finest gift to his old school, though, is his stalwart son, James Michael (Mike) Fox, who this past spring completed four years of stardom as a regular catcher for Coach David Hall’s “modern era” Rice baseball club. Another familiar “Fox face” at virtually every Owl home baseball game over 20 years is avid fan Raymond, father of Jim and grandfather of Mike, and a very knowledgeable baseball booster who saw almost every game of son and grandson from Little League through college. The spotlight for the ceremony, though, is on Jim and his qualifications for membership are exemplary. He was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on February 12, 1940, but grew up in Houston and became a top notch student and athlete at then relatively new Bellaire High School in the late 1950’s, in the wake of fine performances in pre-high school baseball and basketball activities. He was as [sic] All-City standout for the Cardinals in the neighborhood that took the “overflow” of the so-called Lamar area as an expansion school in the fast-growing City of Houston in the 1950’s. Jim finished BHS in May of 1958, and as a prim college prospect was attracted to Rice Institute. It was the days before freshmen could play varsity ball, so Jim won his frosh numeral in both basketball and baseball in 1959 before going on to win 3 varsity letters each in those two sports in 1960, 1961, and 1962. He won the coveted Billy Wohn Awards as MVP in 1962 in basketball to climax a fine career for Rice under the late Johnny Frankie. In baseball, he played two years for the late Dell Morgan, and then his senior season in 1962 under the man who presents him to the Hall – Joe Gallagher – when the latter was a fine interim coach for Dell after his death in an auto accident almost on the eve of start of the season. Jim was sensational that senior year for Gallagher! After making all-SWC unanimously as a catcher for Morgan in 1961 while hitting .365, he caught some, but also played a lot of outfield as a senior in ’62. He made All-SWC again, this time as an outfielder, while hitting .419 for the season and .400 in the SWC (a mark good enough to win the SWC batting title most seasons, but not ’62). Back to basketball a moment, as a quick-handed and smart guard for Coach Frankie, Jim played on Owl teams that were 7-7 two years in a strong SWC league as evidenced by the names of such All-SWC stars as Carroll Broussard, Del Ray Mounts, Donnie Lasiter, and Jan Arnette and SMU’s fabulous “mighty mite” Maxie Williams. His particular baseball memories include playing summer ball with players from other schools on the Brenham Cold 45’s (soon to become the Astros). Teammates included John Skeeter, now baseball coach at Sam Houston State and an Aggie by the name of Davey Johnson, now manager of the New York Mets of NL. Jim had a great summer, hitting .469 with 14 homers in only 40 games. After Rice graduation Jim played pro ball for the New York Yankees organization for four years, and was All-Star catcher for Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League and MVP in 1965 of the Tidewater Tides of the Carolina League. Surmising he wasn’t going to make it to the “bigs” soon, he wisely decided in 1965 to use that Rice economics degree and settle down, so he went into the brokerage business full time. Since 1981 he has been a vice-president with Merrill Lynch in Houston and a number of the Merrill Lynch Chairman’s Club the past 3 years. Jim Fox is a great and loyal Owl and very deserving his honor as a member of the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttp://hdl.handle.net/1911/63939
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