Phillies Owner William Cox…Suspended for Life

March 20, 2012

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Manager Bucky Harris, coach Earl Whitehill, owner William Cox, and coach Chuck Klein. Photo courtesy of Temple University Libraries.

On March 20th, 1943, things finally started to look up for the Philadelphia Phillies. After being owned by the disastrous Gerry Nugent, who had sold all of the Phillies prospects to keep his own head above water for the past 10 years, the Phils were sold on that day to an energetic young entrepreneur named William Cox (the man he outbid? John Kelly, Sr. Grace Kelly’s dad). Only 33 years old, Cox was determined to turn around the fortunes of a team that had finished last or next to last in every single season that Nugent owned the team, and had finished over .500 once since 1918.

Cox started with a bang, hiring future Hall of Famer Bucky Harris as manager. Harris had managed the Senators to two pennants, and his hiring energized both the players and the fanbase. Right off the bat, the Phillies showed improvement. In fact, they were in 4th place in the National League as late as June 30th, unheard of for a team that usually hit rock bottom two weeks into the season and stayed there. The team struggled in July, however, and by July 28th, they were back in familiar position, 7th place in the NL (out of 8 teams).

William Cox was young, and he was impatient, and he wanted to win NOW. So despite the fact that Harris had led the team to almost as many wins (39) in little over half a season than they had had in an entire season the year before (42), he told reporters that Bucky Harris was fired. Didn’t tell Harris himself, but told reporters. He then hired a Brooklyn Dodger pitcher with no experience named Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons (seriously). Harris was stunned when told the news. “This is the most shocking thing that has happened to me in my entire life. I have not talked with Cox and this is all a surprise to me. I have nothing to say.”

The players were outraged, and threatened to go on strike if Cox did not apologize to Harris (right). So the next night in the clubhouse, Cox apologized to Harris in front of the team. But the two men sniped at each other through the press for the next few days, with Harris calling Cox “an All-American jerk” and Cox releasing a 2000 word statement essentially accusing Harris of insubordination. Finally, Harris dropped a bombshell. “He’s a fine guy to fire me, when he gambles on games his club plays.” The quote didn’t make the papers, but a Philadelphia editor sent a note to Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Baseball began an immediate investigation. On November 3rd, Cox met with Commissioner Landis and admitted that he had made some “sentimental bets” on the Phillies, and that he didn’t know it was illegal at the time. The story reached a farcical level when Cox then told a story about how the whole thing was a trap to ensnare a disloyal employee, and that he was betting on games to “smoke him out”. Landis had a hard time believing this remarkable tale, and gave him a lifetime ban on November 23rd. Cox appealed. The following comes from a 2004 Baseball Digest article.

In Landis’ final hearing, on December 4 in New York, (former manager) Harris testified he was in the office when he overheard Cox’s secretary, Dorothy Massey, making a phone call asking for the odds on that day’s game.

When she completed the call, Harris asked, “What were the odds?” and she replied, ’13-5 on Brooklyn.’

“I said to her, ‘Do you mean to tell me that Mr. Cox is betting on baseball?’ She looked startled and said, ‘I thought you knew that.'”

Cox was finished. He sold the team to the Carpenter family, who would run it until 1981. Cox went back to manufacturing lumber and would never be reinstated to baseball. Harris would return to the baseball as manager of the 1947 Yankees, and would lead them to a World Championship that year. He led them to 94 wins in 1948, but it wasn’t enough to win the pennant and he was let go in favor of Casey Stengel. And you have to wonder what would have happened to the Phils if the powers that be had sold them to Philly legend John B. Kelly instead of a New York lumber magnate with a penchant for gambling.

RELATED: Phillies owner Horace Fogel banned for life. 




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Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36