“Be where your feet are.”
That phrase is some of the best advice former MLB player Jake Fox ever received, and it has turned into a mindset and mentality that he hopes to spread in his new ventures with his lifestyle brand, “The Fox Code.”
Fox is a former member of the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, mixed in with numerous minor league stints with the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays organizations.
While there were many stops along the way during his 13-year career, the time spent with the Phillies turned out to have more of an impact than Fox could have ever realized at the time.
In the summer of 2017, Fox’s life changed drastically when his father-in-law’s cancer took a turn for the worse.
At the time, Fox, his wife and his kids were living in Arizona, with numerous offers on the table for Fox to continue his baseball career.
Instead, the Indiana native’s family sold everything they owned in Arizona to relocate back to Michigan to be closer to his wife’s father.
“My life went on pause, my life went on hold,” Fox said. “It’s amazing that, when something goes wrong like that with your family, I felt like it was the first time in my life, first time in my career where my priorities were really tested.”
While Fox stayed at home to take care of his children, his wife was in and out of the hospital to support her father.
“I always put family as one of my top priorities, and when my family needed and my career went on hold, I was at home with the kids basically everyday while my wife was helping my father-in-law,” Fox said. “In that period of my life, I realized that there were things I was missing while I was playing, and that was spending time with my wife, spending time with my kids.”
After Fox’s father-in-law passed away, he had a phone call from the Phillies to come back to the field and continue his playing career. When he said he wouldn’t be playing anymore, the team called him back later on to discuss a different role: coaching.
“Lot of players don’t have the opportunity to make that transition from player to coach, so I said, ‘You know what? I’ll never know if it’s something I’d love to do or be good at unless I go try it,'” Fox said. “I think a lot of people have that fear to make that change or try something new and I said, ‘you know what? I’ve gotta try, I’ve gotta know.’”
Fox made the journey down to Clearwater, Florida to help with the team’s rookies, and found his new passion in the process.
“It was a place where I could really make a change, really make a difference in someone’s life,” Fox said. “When I played, I was always worried about my swings, my fielding, my throwing, what I was doing, what I had to do to get myself better. Now, as a coach, I’ve got 13 swings to worry about. It’s almost more challenging than being a player because all I did was make my swing feel good. Now I have to get 13 swings feeling good.”
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After working with the Phillies, Fox began to pursue his new career path, but needed clarity as to what level he wanted to coach at. To find answers, he took on a role as a volunteer assistant coach at Chicago State University in 2018, and realized that college coaching wasn’t where he wanted to be.
Later on, the San Francisco Giants gave Fox a call, leading to a spot as a hitting coach in the organization. He is currently the hitting coach for the Augusta Green Jackets.
However, even while coaching in Georgia, Fox’s time in Philadelphia is having an impact on his life, serving as the catalyst for his latest business endeavor.
While playing in Reading, Pennsylvania in the Phillies organization, Fox became friends with Alexy Posner, founder of the AP Brand Group and his partner for his new lifestyle brand, The Fox Code.
“In the beginning at the time, it was just kind of talk. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this? Wouldn’t this be great to do that?” Fox said. “Started as an idea, started as a concept and now, because of her hard work and the things we’ve done together, it’s getting some momentum and heading in the right direction.”
The Fox Code features a “greater than” sign (>) to “show their true purpose for the brand,” pushing those involved to live in the moment and work to improve everyday.
“We really want to help people see that they’re really in competition with themselves; with the person they were the day before,” Posner said. “We want to show not only baseball players, but everyone, just go out there and strive to be their best self day in and day out.”
“It’s not really a lifestyle brand, it’s more of an idea,” Fox said. “It’s more of a concept of encouraging people to chase their dreams and live their lives, enjoy the journey as they’re doing it.”
Fox and Posner hope to launch a podcast for The Fox Code this fall, coinciding with the apparel sold on the brand’s website.
The duo doesn’t know what the future holds for their new venture, and didn’t have any specific goals in mind when asked what was next. All that was on Fox’s mind was the advice he got earlier on in life.
“Be where your feet are,” Fox said. “I think if we show up everyday and have fun, and we play hard and we focus on being in the moment and where we’re at, I think good things will happen in life. That for me, is what this brand is about.”