Grover Cleveland Alexander

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Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander (February 26, 1887, Elba, Nebraska - November 4, 1950, St. Paul, Nebraska) was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.

Alexander was one of thirteen children and played semipro ball in his youth. He signed his first professional contract at age 22 in 1907 for $50 per month. He had a good first season, but it was marred by a beaning that probably contributed to later bouts with epilepsy. This incident set his career back, but he had recovered by 1910, became a star pitcher again, and was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies for $750.

Template:MLB HoF Alexander set the league on fire in his 1911 debut, leading the league with 28 wins (a modern-day rookie record), 31 complete games, 367 innings pitched, and seven shutouts while finishing second in strikeouts and fourth in ERA. The best, however, was yet to come. Alexander was the dominant pitcher in the National League from 1915 to 1917, becoming the only pitcher to win pitching's Triple Crown three years in a row, and from 1912 to 1920, Alexander led the league in ERA four times (1915, 1916, 1919, 1920), wins five times (1914-17, 1920), innings six times (1912, 1914-17, 1920), strikeouts six times (1912, 1914-1917, 1920), complete games five times (1914-1917, 1920), and shutouts six times (1913, 1915, 1916 [a single season record 16], 1917, 1919). In 1915, he was instrumental in leading the Phillies to their first pennant, and he also pitched a record four one-hitters.

After the 1917 season, the Phillies sold Alexander to the Cubs, fearful that he would be lost to the army in World War I. Sure enough, he was drafted, and spent most of the 1918 season in France as an artillery officer, where he suffered from shell shock, partial hearing loss, and increasingly worse seizures. Always a drinker, Alexander hit the bottle particularly hard after the war. He still gave Chicago several successful years, however, and grabbed another pitching triple crown in 1920. Finally tiring of his increasing drunkenness and insubordination, the Cubs sold him to the Cardinals in the middle of the 1926 season for the waiver price.

The Cardinals won the National League that year and met the New York Yankees in the World Series, where Alexander had his finest moment. He pitched complete game victories in Games 2 and 6 before coming into the seventh inning of Game 7, after Jesse Haines developed a blister, with the Cardinals up 3-2 the bases loaded and two outs. Facing Yankee slugger Tony Lazzeri, Alexander got him to strike out and then held the Yankees scorless for two more innings to preserve the win and give St. Louis the championship. Alexander had one last 20-win season for the Cardianls in 1927, but his continued drinking finally did him in. He left baseball after a brief return to the Phillies in 1930 and pitched for the House of David until 1938.

Alexander's 373 wins and 90 shutouts are both National League records, and he is also third all time in wins, tenth in innings pitched (5190), second in shutouts, and eighth in hits allowed (4868).

YEAR TEAM        AGE   W   L   PCT    G  GS  CG  SV  GF   IP      H    R   ER   BB   SO    ERA RSAA
1911 Phillies     24  28  13  .683   48  37  31   3  11  367    285  133  105  129  227   2.57   44 
1912 Phillies     25  19  17  .528   46  34  25   3  10  310    289  133   97  105  195   2.82   20 
1913 Phillies     26  22   8  .733   47  36  23   2   9  306    288  106   95   75  159   2.79   24 
1914 Phillies     27  27  15  .643   46  39  32   1   7  355    327  133   94   76  214   2.38   19 
1915 Phillies     28  31  10  .756   49  42  36   3   7  376    253   86   51   64  241   1.22   69 
1916 Phillies     29  33  12  .733   48  45  38   3   3  389    323   90   67   50  167   1.55   38 
1917 Phillies     30  30  13  .698   45  44  35   0   0  388    336  107   79   56  200   1.83   46 
1918 Cubs         31   2   1  .667    3   3   3   0   0   26     19    7    5    3   15   1.73    3 
1919 Cubs         32  16  11  .593   30  27  20   1   3  235    180   51   45   38  121   1.72   28 
1920 Cubs         33  27  14  .659   46  40  33   5   6  363    335   96   77   69  173   1.91   49 
1921 Cubs         34  15  13  .536   31  29  21   1   1  252    286  110   95   33   77   3.39   21 
1922 Cubs         35  16  13  .552   33  31  20   1   2  246    283  111   99   34   48   3.62    6 
1923 Cubs         36  22  12  .647   39  36  26   2   2  305    308  128  108   30   72   3.19   32 
1924 Cubs         37  12   5  .706   21  20  12   0   0  169    183   82   57   25   33   3.04   17 
1925 Cubs         38  15  11  .577   32  30  20   0   1  236    270  106   89   29   63   3.39   20 
1926 Cubs         39   3   3  .500    7   7   4   0   0   52     55   26   20    7   12   3.46    3 
     Cardinals    39   9   7  .563   23  16  11   2   7  148    136   57   48   24   35   2.92   17 
     TOTALS           12  10  .545   30  23  15   2   7  200    191   83   68   31   47   3.06   20 
1927 Cardinals    40  21  10  .677   37  30  22   3   4  268    261   94   75   38   48   2.52   50 
1928 Cardinals    41  16   9  .640   34  31  18   2   2  244    262  106   91   37   59   3.36   14 
1929 Cardinals    42   9   8  .529   22  19   8   0   3  132    149   65   57   23   33   3.89   11 
1930 Phillies     43   0   3  .000    9   3   0   0   2   22     40   24   22    6    6   9.00   -8 
     TOTALS          373 208  .642  696 599 438  32  80 5189   4868 1851 1476  951 2198   2.56  523 
     LG AVERAGE      286 286  .500          315  11     5189   5259 2466 1956 1598 1891   3.39    0  
YEAR TEAM          HR   H/9  BR/9  SO/9  BB/9 SO/BB SHO  WP IBB HBP   BFP BK  NW  NL
1911 Phillies       5  6.99 10.35  5.57  3.16  1.76   7   4   0   8  1475  1  27  14 
1912 Phillies      11  8.39 11.61  5.66  3.05  1.86   3   5   0   6  1290  0  21  15 
1913 Phillies       9  8.47 10.76  4.68  2.21  2.12   9   3   0   3  1234  0  18  12 
1914 Phillies       8  8.29 10.50  5.43  1.93  2.82   6   1   0  11  1459  0  25  17 
1915 Phillies       3  6.06  7.83  5.77  1.53  3.77  12   2   0  10  1435  0  34   7 
1916 Phillies       6  7.47  8.86  3.86  1.16  3.34  16   3   0  10  1500  0  31  14 
1917 Phillies       4  7.79  9.23  4.64  1.30  3.57   8   2   0   6  1529  0  30  13 
1918 Cubs           0  6.58  7.96  5.19  1.04  5.00   0   0   0   1    98  0   2   1 
1919 Cubs           3  6.89  8.35  4.63  1.46  3.18   9   1   0   0   906  0  19   8 
1920 Cubs           8  8.31 10.04  4.29  1.71  2.51   7   3   0   1  1447  0  29  12 
1921 Cubs          10 10.21 11.43  2.75  1.18  2.33   3   1   0   1  1033  0  17  11 
1922 Cubs           7 10.35 11.71  1.76  1.24  1.41   1   4   0   3  1014  0  15  14 
1923 Cubs          17  9.09  9.97  2.12  0.89  2.40   3   2   0   0  1246  0  21  13 
1924 Cubs           9  9.75 11.13  1.76  1.33  1.32   0   1   0   1   708  0  10   7 
1925 Cubs          14 10.30 11.52  2.40  1.11  2.17   1   1   0   3   977  0  15  11 
1926 Cubs           0  9.52 10.73  2.08  1.21  1.71   0   0   0   0   218  0   3   3 
     Cardinals      8  8.27  9.85  2.13  1.46  1.46   2   0   0   2   597  0  10   6 
     TOTALS         8  8.60 10.08  2.12  1.40  1.52   2   0   0   2   815  0  13   9 
1927 Cardinals     11  8.76 10.07  1.61  1.28  1.26   2   1   0   1  1082  0  22   9 
1928 Cardinals     16  9.66 11.10  2.18  1.36  1.59   1   3   0   2  1009  0  14  11 
1929 Cardinals     10 10.16 11.80  2.25  1.57  1.43   0   2   0   1   562  0  10   7 
1930 Phillies       5 16.36 18.82  2.45  2.45  1.00   0   0   0   0   109  0   1   2 
     TOTALS       164  8.44 10.21  3.81  1.65  2.31  90  39   0  70 20928  1 374 207 
     LG AVERAGE   174  9.12 12.12  3.28  2.77  1.18  43  95   0 134 21881  9 

League Leadership Rankings

1911 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                1ST      28
WINNING PERCENTAGE  4TH    .683
GAMES               T3RD     48
GAMES STARTED       T2ND     37
COMPLETE GAMES      1ST      31
SAVES               T8TH      3
INNINGS PITCHED     1ST     367
HITS                5TH     285
RUNS                4TH     133
EARNED RUNS         4TH     105
WALKS               T3RD    129
STRIKEOUTS          2ND     227
ERA                 5TH    2.57
RSAA                2ND      44
HITS/9 IP           1ST    6.99
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    5TH   10.35
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     2ND    5.57
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    8TH    1.76
SHUTOUTS            1ST       7
BATTERS FACED       1ST    1475
BALKS               T6TH      1
NEUTRAL WINS        2ND      27
NEUTRAL LOSSES      T7TH     14
1912 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                T6TH     19
LOSSES              T8TH     17
GAMES               3RD      46
GAMES STARTED       T7TH     34
COMPLETE GAMES      T3RD     25
SAVES               T5TH      3
INNINGS PITCHED     T1ST    310
HITS                T5TH    289
RUNS                7TH     133
EARNED RUNS         8TH      97
WALKS               T8TH    105
STRIKEOUTS          1ST     195
RSAA                T7TH     20
HOMERUNS            T1ST     11
HITS/9 IP           10TH   8.39
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     1ST    5.66
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    T7TH   1.86
SHUTOUTS            T7TH      3
BATTERS FACED       2ND    1290
NEUTRAL WINS        T4TH     21
NEUTRAL LOSSES      T5TH     15
1913 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                T4TH     22
WINNING PERCENTAGE  3RD    .733
GAMES               4TH      47
GAMES STARTED       T3RD     36
COMPLETE GAMES      5TH      23
INNINGS PITCHED     T3RD    306
HITS                3RD     288
EARNED RUNS         6TH      95
STRIKEOUTS          3RD     159
RSAA                T6TH     24
HOMERUNS            T7TH      9
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    10TH  10.76
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     5TH    4.68
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    6TH    2.12
SHUTOUTS            1ST       9
BATTERS FACED       3RD    1234
NEUTRAL WINS        T8TH     18
1914 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                1ST      27
WINNING PERCENTAGE  7TH    .643
GAMES               T4TH     46
GAMES STARTED       T3RD     39
COMPLETE GAMES      1ST      32
INNINGS PITCHED     1ST     355
HITS                1ST     327
RUNS                T3RD    133
EARNED RUNS         2ND      94
STRIKEOUTS          1ST     214
ERA                 10TH   2.38
RSAA                7TH      19
HOMERUNS            T7TH      8
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    8TH   10.50
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     2ND    5.43
WALKS/9 IP          5TH    1.93
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    2ND    2.82
SHUTOUTS            T3RD      6
HIT BY PITCHES      T5TH     11
BATTERS FACED       1ST    1459
NEUTRAL WINS        1ST      25
NEUTRAL LOSSES      T5TH     17
1915 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                1ST      31
WINNING PERCENTAGE  1ST    .756
GAMES               T2ND     49
GAMES STARTED       2ND      42
COMPLETE GAMES      1ST      36
SAVES               T5TH      3
INNINGS PITCHED     1ST     376
HITS                5TH     253
STRIKEOUTS          1ST     241
ERA                 1ST    1.22
RSAA                1ST      69
HITS/9 IP           1ST    6.06
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    1ST    7.83
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     1ST    5.77
WALKS/9 IP          4TH    1.53
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    1ST    3.77
SHUTOUTS            1ST      12
HIT BY PITCHES      T8TH     10
BATTERS FACED       1ST    1435
NEUTRAL WINS        1ST      34
1916 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                1ST      33
WINNING PERCENTAGE  2ND    .733
GAMES               2ND      48
GAMES STARTED       1ST      45
COMPLETE GAMES      1ST      38
SAVES               T5TH      3
INNINGS PITCHED     1ST     389
HITS                1ST     323
STRIKEOUTS          1ST     167
ERA                 1ST    1.55
RSAA                1ST      38
HOMERUNS            T8TH      6
HITS/9 IP           10TH   7.47
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    2ND    8.86
WALKS/9 IP          2ND    1.16
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    2ND    3.34
SHUTOUTS            1ST      16
HIT BY PITCHES      T4TH     10
BATTERS FACED       1ST    1500
NEUTRAL WINS        1ST      31
NEUTRAL LOSSES      T8TH     14
1917 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                1ST      30
WINNING PERCENTAGE  4TH    .698
GAMES               4TH      45
GAMES STARTED       1ST      44
COMPLETE GAMES      1ST      35
INNINGS PITCHED     1ST     388
HITS                1ST     336
RUNS                7TH     107
EARNED RUNS         8TH      79
STRIKEOUTS          1ST     200
ERA                 2ND    1.83
RSAA                1ST      46
HITS/9 IP           10TH   7.79
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    3RD    9.23
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     3RD    4.64
WALKS/9 IP          1ST    1.30
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    1ST    3.57
SHUTOUTS            1ST       8
BATTERS FACED       1ST    1529
NEUTRAL WINS        1ST      30
1919 NL
-------------------------------
COMPLETE GAMES      T9TH     20
STRIKEOUTS          3RD     121
ERA                 1ST    1.72
RSAA                4TH      28
HITS/9 IP           1ST    6.89
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    2ND    8.35
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     2ND    4.63
WALKS/9 IP          5TH    1.46
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    2ND    3.18
SHUTOUTS            1ST       9
NEUTRAL WINS        4TH      19
1920 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                1ST      27
WINNING PERCENTAGE  2ND    .659
GAMES               T2ND     46
GAMES STARTED       1ST      40
COMPLETE GAMES      1ST      33
SAVES               T2ND      5
INNINGS PITCHED     1ST     363
HITS                1ST     335
STRIKEOUTS          1ST     173
ERA                 1ST    1.91
RSAA                1ST      49
HOMERUNS            T5TH      8
HITS/9 IP           6TH    8.31
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    3RD   10.04
STRIKEOUTS/9 IP     2ND    4.29
WALKS/9 IP          6TH    1.71
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    3RD    2.51
SHUTOUTS            2ND       7
BATTERS FACED       1ST    1447
NEUTRAL WINS        1ST      29
1921 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                T10TH    15
COMPLETE GAMES      T4TH     21
INNINGS PITCHED     10TH    252
HITS                9TH     286
RSAA                6TH      21
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    6TH   11.43
WALKS/9 IP          2ND    1.18
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    2ND    2.33
SHUTOUTS            T1ST      3
NEUTRAL WINS        T5TH     17
1922 NL
-------------------------------
COMPLETE GAMES      T4TH     20
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    7TH   11.71
WALKS/9 IP          2ND    1.24
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    8TH    1.41
NEUTRAL LOSSES      T9TH     14
1923 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                3RD      22
WINNING PERCENTAGE  6TH    .647
GAMES STARTED       T6TH     36
COMPLETE GAMES      T4TH     26
INNINGS PITCHED     5TH     305
HITS                T5TH    308
RUNS                9TH     128
EARNED RUNS         T7TH    108
ERA                 6TH    3.19
RSAA                4TH      32
HOMERUNS            T1ST     17
HITS/9 IP           9TH    9.09
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    1ST    9.97
WALKS/9 IP          1ST     .89
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    1ST    2.40
SHUTOUTS            T4TH      3
BATTERS FACED       7TH    1246
NEUTRAL WINS        T3RD     21
NEUTRAL LOSSES      T9TH     13
1924 NL
-------------------------------
WINNING PERCENTAGE  5TH    .706
ERA                 6TH    3.04
RSAA                9TH      17
WALKS/9 IP          2ND    1.33
1925 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                T9TH     15
GAMES STARTED       10TH     30
COMPLETE GAMES      T6TH     20
INNINGS PITCHED     10TH    236
HITS                7TH     270
ERA                 7TH    3.39
RSAA                9TH      20
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    5TH   11.52
WALKS/9 IP          1ST    1.11
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    2ND    2.17
1926 NL
-------------------------------
SAVES               T9TH      2
ERA                 9TH    3.06
RSAA                T6TH     20
HITS/9 IP           6TH    8.60
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    1ST   10.08
WALKS/9 IP          2ND    1.39
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    6TH    1.52
SHUTOUTS            T10TH     2
1927 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                4TH      21
WINNING PERCENTAGE  5TH    .677
COMPLETE GAMES      T4TH     22
SAVES               T5TH      3
INNINGS PITCHED     7TH     268
HITS                10TH    261
ERA                 2ND    2.52
RSAA                1ST      50
HITS/9 IP           9TH    8.76
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    1ST   10.07
WALKS/9 IP          1ST    1.28
SHUTOUTS            T5TH      2
BATTERS FACED       9TH    1082
NEUTRAL WINS        2ND      22
1928 NL
-------------------------------
WINS                T10TH    16
WINNING PERCENTAGE  9TH    .640
GAMES STARTED       T7TH     31
COMPLETE GAMES      6TH      18
INNINGS PITCHED     T8TH    244
HITS                7TH     262
HOMERUNS            T5TH     16
BASERUNNERS/9 IP    5TH   11.10
WALKS/9 IP          1ST    1.36
STRIKEOUTS/WALKS    4TH    1.59

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