Nellie Fox Bowl

December 15th, 2012
by Byron Bennett

Before the Marvin Miller era, many major league players had to find work during the off season to help make ends meet. Future Hall of Famer Nellie Fox was no exception.

Poster-Sized Photo of Nellie Fox on Display at Nellie Fox Bowl

Born and raised in St. Thomas Township, Pennsylvania, Mr. Fox broke into into the major leagues in 1947 with the Philadelphia Athletics. It was while he was a member of the Chicago White Sox in the spring of 1956 that Mr. Fox and a business partner opened Nellie Fox Bowl, located at 3587 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, just a few miles southeast of Mr. Fox’s hometown.

Nellie Fox Bowl in Chambersburg PA

After Mr. Fox’s untimely death in 1975, his partner continued operation of the bowling alley.

Bowling Lanes at Nellie Fox Bowl

Although Mr. Fox’s involvement in the business ceased over 37 years ago, the bowling alley retains his name and, thereby, his memory.

Nellie Fox Bowl Owner Rudy Goetz

Rudy Goetz, the current owner of Nellie Fox Bowl, purchased the business from Mr. Fox’s original partner over 20 years ago. In conjunction with the bowling alley, Mr. Goetz still operates a small sporting goods shop, with most merchandise related to bowling. When Mr. Fox owned the business, he sold baseball and other sporting goods in the shop. In storage, Mr. Goetz found several baseball gloves, stock left over from Mr. Fox’s sporting goods store. The gloves include a left-handed Luis Aparicio Pro Style Wilson A2133, A Rawlings DW12 soft ball glove, a Bill Tuttle Ball Hawk Wilson A2130, and a Pete Runnels Ball Hawk Wilson A2982 with the original Wilson tag still attached.

Fielder's Gloves That Once Were For Sale at Nellie Fox Bowl's Sporting Goods Shop

For 56 years, Nellie Fox Bowl has stood on Route 11 in Chamberburg, Pennsylvania, a testimonial to Nellie Fox and his popularity in and around the Southeastern Pennsylvania community. Although not a lost ballpark, Nellie Fox Bowl certainly is worth a stop, whether you are looking for a place to bowl, or just hoping to get a sense of how one future Hall of Famer helped make ends meet in the baseball era prior to the Marvin Miller baseball revolution.

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Posted in Pennsylvania ballparks | Comments (3)

  • Avatar Don Hoover says:

    Nellie was certainly one of the best 2nd basemen to play the game, and he and Luis Aparicio were a great double play combination. This is a great article!

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Don

    Nellie indeed was one of the best. His time on this earth was cut way too short. Of course, the good news is he is still remembered to this day. Thanks for the post.

  • […] baseball at Henninger Field, perhaps the year he played in the Chambersburg Twilight League. The bowling alley Fox once owned, which still bears his name, is located in Chambersburg, just four and a half miles south of […]

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