Tuesday, February 27, 2007

February 26, 1887:

Grover Cleveland Alexander's Birthday

Baseball Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander undoubtedly came from a Democratic household, though the short baseball bios of the pitching great don't mention it. In any case, he was named after a sitting Democratic president, Grover Cleveland, who was in his first term in 1887 and a hero to party faithful for capturing the White House for the National Democracy the first time since before the Civil War.

The Baseball Hall of Fame has this to say about Alexander, who career wasn't all together happy: "Suffering from epilepsy, haunted by his experiences in combat during World War I and shadowed by the dark side of alcoholism, Grover Cleveland Alexander was able to win 373 games during a 20-year major league career, the third highest total in major league history. He led the league in ERA on four occasions, wins in six different seasons, complete games six times and shutouts during seven campaigns. Alexander also won 30 or more games three consecutive seasons."

Curiously, Alexander's life was the subject of a biopic in 1952, a couple of years after he died. Ronald Reagan played Grover Cleveland Alexander.

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