This obituary is one in a series on people who died in the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about the others here.
It was a hot and dusty afternoon in 2010, with the Northern Virginia Red Sox 10 points over Prince William’s Yankees. Jeff Fox, who played third base for the Red Sox, was probably the only one of his elite amateur squad still keen to play as they trotted the field for the ninth inning.
No one moved much when a Yankees hitter drove a line practice to left field. Nobody But Mr. Fox: He dove for the ball – and hurt his shoulder so badly he had to have surgery.
“We all looked at each other and thought, ‘What are you doing? Said his friend and teammate Jeff Horwitt.
Mr Fox had dreamed of a shot in the big leagues before, but injured his knee during his senior year in college. Instead, he entered the Secret Service, protecting presidents – Bill Clinton was his first – while playing in leagues around Northern Virginia, including the Industrial baseball league.
“He was in his 50s and still playing at the highest level possible,” said Horwitt.
Mr Fox, who later joined the Department of Defense and moved to San Jose, Calif., Died on March 16 in a hospital there. He was 52 years old. The cause was Covid-19, said his father, Jerry.
Jeffery Lynn Fox was born on November 10, 1968 in South Ruislip Air Station, a British military installation near London leased to the US Air Force, in which his father served.
His family then moved to Taylorsville, North Carolina, snuggled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains, where his father and mother, Martha (Price) Fox, worked in a furniture factory.
Along with his father, Mr. Fox is survived by his mother and wife, Kristina Fox.
He was an outstanding high school baseball player and in 2019 he was inducted into the Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame. He was a starter on the team for four years at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, playing both receiver and center fielder.
After college, he quickly gained a reputation among die-hard amateur players of Northern Virginia as a reliable and affable teammate – always on time, despite his life or death duties to defend the president, and still ready to play whatever position is needed. .
“He was the glue that helped these teams stay close as we competed and continued to be the leader in keeping teammates together today,” said former college teammate Mike Shildt, now the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, in a statement.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mr. Fox joined the Federal Air Marshal Service, where he met a United Airlines flight attendant named Kristina Capuyon. They formed a friendship on twice-weekly trips between Washington and San Francisco, and they tied the knot in 2008.
Mr. Fox then worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, performing background checks for security clearances. He did the same job for the Department of Defense, a job that in 2019 took him and his wife to San Jose.
“What set Jeff apart was that he was protecting the president or playing with his team, he was all-out,” Mr. Horwitt said. “Whether he was in the White House or in a dusty high school, the situation didn’t matter.”