Grover Cleveland Alexander – Help Guide Team to 1926 World Series


He was named after U.S. President Grover Cleveland. He was known as “Pete” by players of the game.

Problem with the bottle

Always a drinker, Alexander hit the bottle particularly hard as a result of the physical and emotional injuries he sustained in the war – injuries that plagued him for the rest of his life. People often misinterpreted his seizure-related problems as drunkenness. In spite of all this, Alexander gave Chicago several successful years and won another pitching triple crown in 1920. Tiring of his increasing drunkenness and insubordination that was often directly related to his epilepsy, the Cubs sold him to the Cardinals in the middle of the 1926 season for the waiver price. Then-Cubs manager, Joe McCarthy stated the reason for the sale was, “The Cubs finished last last year and if they finish last again, I’d rather it be without [Alexander].”

1926 World series hero

The Cardinals won the National League pennant that year and met the New York Yankees in the World Series, where Alexander pitched complete game victories in Games 2 and 6. According to teammate Bob O’Farrell in The Glory of Their Times, after the game six victory, Alexander got drunk that night and was still feeling the effects when he was sent out to pitch the next day in Game 7.Alexander came to the game in the seventh inning after starter Jesse Haines developed a blister, with the Cardinals ahead 3–2, the bases loaded and two out. Facing Yankee slugger Tony Lazzeri, Alexander struck him out and then held the Yankees scoreless for two more innings to preserve the win and give St. Louis the championship. He had one last 20-win season for the Cardinals in 1927, but his continued drinking finally did him in. He left major league baseball after a brief return to the Phillies in 1930, and pitched for the House of David until 1940.

cardinals Statistics
  • Played 4 season 1926-1929
  • 55-34 record
  • 3.08 ERA
  • 116 games
  • 96 games started
  • 175 strikeouts
  • 122 base on balls
Career numbers
  • Debut on April 15, 1911
  • 373-208 Record
  • 2.56 ERA
  • 2198 Strikeouts
  • 3-time Triple Crown winner
  • 6-time NL wins leader
  • 4-time NL ERA leader
  • 6-time NL Strikeout Leader
  • Inducted in National Hall of Fame in 1938

“I could throw harder than Grover, but he could put the ball through a knothole. He had perfect control.” – George Pipgras, speaking about Grover Cleveland Alexander late in his career

Newspaper Picture

Hall of Fame Page

Baseball Reference Page