Fox never played baseball beyond high school. He graduated not with
Fox, the club's director of baseball systems development, is the computer whiz behind the curtain. His work has influenced everything from player acquisitions to defensive positioning during the club's first winning season since 1992. But Fox is unlike many of the data analysts to enter the game in baseball's information era.
OSBORNE & ABSTRACTS
Fox was raised in
Above all else, the Fox boys particularly were interested in numbers and baseball. In 1981, their father brought home a device that enabled them to merge their interests: the Osborne I computer, the first commercially successful PC. It cost
"There wasn't much to it," said
There was another revelation shaping
"Dan has always had a curiosity beyond normal,"
Like Fox, James was different, a baseball outsider. He began writing during third-shift work as a security guard at Stokely Van Camp's pork and beans cannery in
"The first thing I remember taking from James is he got the left-right splits," Fox said. "You couldn't find that information anywhere; it didn't exist. I remember thinking, 'This is something nobody else has, and you can make decisions on it. It's revolutionary.' "
"We played the 1983 NL season (in Strat-o-Matic)," Fox said. "On the Cubs I had
Like James, Fox did not see himself in a baseball front office. Outsiders were not accepted in baseball in the 1980s.
By the mid 1990s, Fox had become a niche celebrity in Midwest programming circles because of his writing and presentations. In 1999, Fox was working for Quilogy, a
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