You Can Put Fox in the Hall, YES!

How Gordon B. Nash Jr. advocated for White Sox great Nellie Fox

Published in 2007 Illinois Super Lawyers — February 2007

White Sox fan Gordon B. Nash Jr. can’t hide his enthusiasm about the 2005 baseball season.

“It was as much fun as I’ve ever had in terms of entertainment,” says Nash, a partner at Gardner Carton & Douglas since 1978. “We’re still enjoying the World Series title around here.”

Fans from all walks of life took great joy in the South Side Hitmen winning their first championship since 1917, and it was no different in the city’s legal community, where Nash and a group of friends have long ranked among the most fervent supporters of the club.

In the early 1990s, Nash co-founded the Nellie Fox Society with fellow lawyers Thomas Fitzgerald (now an Illinois Supreme Court justice), Louis Hegeman, Nick Motherway and E. Michael Kelly (now deceased). The group’s goal was to help Fox, the White Sox’s premier second baseman from the 1950s, get elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The society eventually grew to 600 members and met periodically in conference rooms across Chicago. At each meeting, the case for Fox’s bid was built using statistics and comparisons to players already in the Hall.

“We argued it just like you would a court case,” Nash says. “We made sure our argument was as airtight as it could be.”

They lobbied members of the Hall of Fame’s veterans committee and drew much-needed attention to Fox’s cause. In the end, it paid off. In 1997, the veterans committee posthumously elected Fox to the Hall.

That was good news for Nash, who grew up in the city’s Beverly neighborhood and regularly went to old Comiskey Park to watch Fox play. In 1959, Nash and a younger brother skipped class at Brother Rice High School to attend game six of the World Series between the “Go Go” White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, the White Sox lost the game 9-3, and thus the Series, four games to two, leaving a void in the hearts of White Sox fans.

Until 2005. Nash watched as Ozzie’s Army marched to the best record in the American League. He attended both home divisional playoff games against Boston and one game in the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels. He even scored tickets to game two of the World Series; and when Scott Podsednik hit a game-winning homerun in the bottom of the ninth, Nash yelled as loudly as anybody else. “It was great,” Nash says. “How many people can say they were at both the 1959 and 2005 World Series?”

With Fox in the Hall and the White Sox owners of a World Series title, it would seem Nash and his friends don’t have much on their plate. But there’s been talk of pushing for the election of other players, particularly pitcher Billy Pierce and outfielder Minnie Minoso. Even the name Ron Santo, a legend with the hated crosstown Cubs, who spent his final season with the White Sox, has been mentioned.

Nash, though, considers the Santo endorsement a long shot. “Most of our group consider themselves purebred White Sox fans,” he says.

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