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Cardinals manager Rogers Hornsby (pictured right) greets Alexander after he was released by the Cubs.

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Grover Cleveland Alexander Strikes Out Tony Lazzeri

Grover Cleveland Alexander was the winningest pitcher in National League history with 373 wins (tied with Christy Mathewson) in a career that spanned 20 years (1911-1930). However, Alexander was a hard drinker and difficult to tolerate, as is indicated by this letter sent to him by Chicago Cubs manager Joe McCarthy during the 1926 season.

After the Cubs let Alexander go, Rogers Hornsby, the player-manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, thought “Alex” would be an asset to his team. The Cards ended up in the World Series that year facing the tough Yankees "Murderer's Row" line-up that would intimidate baseball for years to come.

In the seventh game of the Series, with the Cardinals winning 3-2 and the bases loaded with Yankee slugger Tony Lazzeri at the plate, Hornsby brought Alexander in to pitch. Many said that Alex had liquor on his breath from the night before, although he denied it.



With the Series on the line, Alexander struck Lazzeri out, preserving the Cardinals' lead. They went on to win the game and the Series. This incredibly rare letter, written by Alexander, reveals what pitch he threw to strike out Lazzeri. He also wrote about his greatest seasons in baseball.