Historic Baseball

Historic Baseball

Bringing Baseball History To Center Field

Grover Cleveland Alexander
Born: Feb. 26, 1887 in Elba, Neb.
Died: Nov. 4, 1950 in St. Paul, Neb.
Debut: 1911 | Pos: P
Ht: 6’1″ | Wt: 185 | B: R | T: R

20 696 5190 373 208 32 2198 2.56

>> Visit the Grover Alexander  biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.

Despite dealing with major league problems, Grover Cleveland Alexander survived to become one of the greatest pitchers in the major leagues.

He overcame epilepsy, battled alcoholism and lived through combat in World War 1 — losing some of his hearing abilities —  to win 373 games. His battles with alcohol were part of the 1952 Ronald Reagan film, “The Winning Team.”

His battles with deafness and with epileptic seizures are said to have led to his dependence on alcohol.

His major league career included the following stops: Philadelphia NL (1911-17), Chicago NL (1918-1926), St. Louis NL (1926-1929) and Philadelphia NL (1930)..

In 1911, he led the league with 28 wins during his rookie season. He led the league in ERA five times and posted 30 wins from 1915 to 1917. From 1915 to 1920, his ERA ranged from 1.22 to 1.91 each season.

He led the league in wins in 1911 (28), 1914 (27), 1915 (31), 1916 (33), 1917 (30) and 1920 (27). His career totals included 90 shutouts and he led the league in that category seven times. In 1916, he set a record with 16 shutouts. He pitched 437 complete games.

Alexander’s biggest moment came in the 1926 World Series when the Yankees had loaded the bases. Alexander struck out Tony Lazzeri to preserve the win for the Cardinals.

One thing of note is that Alexander was unable to get a 374th victory. He pitched in 9 games in 1930, 6 of those were starts, and finished with an 0-3 record.

Christy Mathewson was later credited with another win after a review of records pushing his total to 373 and a tie with Alexander for the most wins in the National League.

Alexander was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1938.