Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twins remember former club president Fox

Fox helped to form the brains behind the Twins of 1987.
When the Twins moved to Minnesota from Washington following the 1960 baseball season, a man by the name of Howard Fox came along for the ride. He worked in multiple roles for the Twins during his 50+ years with the Twins/Senators organization. He passed away earlier today while in hospice care at the age of 90.

Fox pulled himself up through the Twins organization by serving in multiple capacities for the club. He would work closely with both owners of the Twins, the Griffiths and the Polhads. Throughout the years, he was a general manager of a minor league affiliate, a public relations staff member, the team's Traveling Secretary, a high-priced valet for Calvin Griffith, and eventually the Club President.

One of the most memorable events from his time with the Twins could be his fist fight with Billy Martin in a hotel lobby. The season was 1966 and the Twins were traveling to Washington DC. The Twins were sharing their chartered flight to the East Coast with the Yankees, who had just finished playing in Minnesota. Fox's wife thought the Yankees were being too loud and ask Martin to talk to them about the noise. He refused and the situation seemed to end at that point. In his role as traveling secretary, Fox was in-charge of handing out the room keys when the team arrived at the hotel. Martin was one of the last one's to receive his key. This did not sit well with Martin and words were shared between the two parties. They would both exit the fight with bruises and Martin ended up being fined $100.

Fox never got along with Martin and this disdain might have been one of the reasons that Martin was fired from the Twins. Griffith spent a lot of time with Fox and used him as his chauffeur at home games. Fans loved Martin as the team manager and this decision would follow Griffith for the rest of his years as owner of the team.

The Twins 1987 World Series team also had connections to Fox. His role as club president was to help facilitate the shift to the management team that led to the Twins' winning the World Series in 1987. This long time relationship with the club gave him the background to be a member of the Minnesota Twins Executive Board.

Fox could be a man that not many Twins fans know a lot about but his fingerprints are part of the fiber of this organization.

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