Hall of Fame: Grover Alexander (1938)

Like Grover Cleveland had to sit out a term as President, Grover Alexander had to sit out a season. Different reasons, however.


 Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO   ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+
1911 24 PHI NL 28 13 48 37 31 7 11 3 367.0 285 133 105 5 129 227 2.57 3.42 133 1.128
1912 25 PHI NL 19 17 46 34 25 3 10 3 310.3 289 133 97 11 105 195 2.81 3.60 128 1.270
1913 26 PHI NL 22 8 47 36 23 9 9 2 306.3 288 106 95 9 75 159 2.79 3.32 119 1.185
1914 27 PHI NL 27 15 46 39 32 6 7 1 355.0 327 133 94 8 76 214 2.38 2.92 123 1.135
1915 28 PHI NL 31 10 49 42 36 12 7 3 376.3 253 86 51 3 64 241 1.22 2.74 225 0.842
1916 29 PHI NL 33 12 48 45 38 16 3 3 389.0 323 90 67 6 50 167 1.55 2.64 170 0.959
1917 30 PHI NL 30 13 45 44 34 8 0 0 388.0 336 107 79 4 56 200 1.83 2.81 153 1.010
1918 31 CHC NL 2 1 3 3 3 0 0 0 26.0 19 7 5 0 3 15 1.73 2.79 161 0.846
1919 32 CHC NL 16 11 30 27 20 9 3 1 235.0 180 51 45 3 38 121 1.72 2.88 167 0.928
1920 33 CHC NL 27 14 46 40 33 7 6 5 363.3 335 96 77 8 69 173 1.91 3.20 168 1.112
1921 34 CHC NL 15 13 31 29 21 3 1 1 252.0 286 110 95 10 33 77 3.39 3.82 113 1.266
1922 35 CHC NL 16 13 33 31 20 1 2 1 245.7 283 111 99 8 34 48 3.63 4.22 116 1.290
1923 36 CHC NL 22 12 39 36 26 3 2 2 305.0 308 128 108 17 30 72 3.19 3.99 125 1.108
1924 37 CHC NL 12 5 21 20 12 0 0 0 169.3 183 82 57 9 25 33 3.03 3.90 129 1.228
1925 38 CHC NL 15 11 32 30 20 1 1 0 236.0 270 106 89 14 29 63 3.39 4.31 127 1.267
1926 39 TOT NL 12 10 30 23 15 2 7 2 200.3 191 83 68 8 31 47 3.05 3.89 127 1.108
CHC NL 3 3 7 7 4 0 0 0 52.0 55 26 20 0 7 12 3.46 3.86 112 1.192
STL NL 9 7 23 16 11 2 7 2 148.3 136 57 48 8 24 35 2.91 3.90 134 1.079
1927 40 STL NL 21 10 37 30 22 2 4 3 268.0 261 94 75 11 38 48 2.52 3.95 157 1.116
1928 41 STL NL 16 9 34 31 18 1 2 2 243.7 262 106 91 15 37 59 3.36 3.98 118 1.227
1929 42 STL NL 9 8 22 19 8 0 3 0 132.0 149 65 57 10 23 33 3.89 4.66 120 1.303
1930 43 PHI NL 0 3 9 3 0 0 2 0 21.7 40 24 22 5 6 6 9.14 5.47 60 2.123
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+
20 Yr WL% .642 373 208 696 599 437 90 80 32 5190.0 4868 1851 1476 164 951 2198 2.56 3.45 135 1.121

3 Triple Crowns (1915, 1916, 1920)

Grover Cleveland Alexander was born on February 26, 1887 in Elba, Nebraska. After playing semi-pro ball in his youth, Alexander signed his first professional contract at the age of 20 in 1907, but a beaning stunted his career path. He would sign another contract for the 1911 season.

Alexander’s career started as a Philadelphia Phillie and what a start it was. He set the major-league record for rookies by winning 28 games in his first season. During his career as a Phillie, he led the league in several categories multiple times, and he helped bring the first World Series to Philadelphia.

As 1918 approached, the Phillies owner became increasingly afraid that Alexander would be drafted into the army, so he sent him to the Cubs. He would be drafted into the army, and after suffering shell shock during WWI, he became a heavier drinker than he had already been. Still, he remained successful, but his drinking became such a problem that he was sent to the Cardinals.

The Cardinals managed to make it to the World Series against the Yankees. Seemingly at the end of his career, Alexander won Games 2 and 6 and came into save Game 7 (2.1 IP — not the wussy save of today) and win his second World Series. He would have a spectacular 1927 season by getting his ERA under 3 for the first time in 6 years and the last time in his career. His drinking its toll as Alexander declined his remaining two full seasons, and after making a failed attempt to return to Philadelphia in 1930 for 9 games, he retired.

After receiving 25% and 62% of the votes his first two attempts, Grover Alexander received 212 of the 262 votes (81%) and was the only player voted in to the Hall of Fame in 1938.

The Winning Team, a 1952 film, was a biography of Alexander, and Ronald Reagan played the role of Alexander. Although Bill James pans the movie, Alexander has the interesting distinction of being named after one President and having a future President portray him in a movie.

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