On June 22, 1926 the pitching desperate Cardinals picked up a hurler released by one of their closest rivals... I guess some things never change.
This year, it's Jeff Suppan from the Milwaukee Brewers. Back then it was future Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander.
The Cubs had grown tried of Alexander's drinking problems and let him go despite a solid 3-3 record with a 3.46 ERA in seven starts. The Cardinals were in third place when they picked up the veteran hurler. In St. Louis, Alexander would win nine games and post a 2.91 ERA to help the Cardinals win the National League pennant with a 48-29 second half of the season. But he really made his name in the World Series against the Yankees.
Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1927
Old Pete was 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in the fall classic. He pitched 20 1/3 innings and allowed only 12 hits and four walks while striking out 17.
Alexander won game two, pitching a complete game in a 6-2 win over Yankees starter Urban Shocker to knot the series at one game apiece. He won game six to again draw the Cardinals even and was believed to have tied one on in celebration after the victory.
Cardinals player-manager Rogers Hornsby called for Alexander, who was sitting in the bullpen nursing a hangover, in relief with the Birds' backs to the wall in game seven. With a 3-2 lead and the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, he faced Yankees second baseman Tony Lazzeri who had 118 RBIs in his rookie season in 1926. Alexander struck out Lazzeri to end the threat, then pitched the rest of the game allowing only one runner to reach base. That was Babe Ruth who in the ninth tried to steal second base with two outs and was caught to end the game.
Alexander's two post season wins and a save were a major force in winning the Cardinals first World Series Championship.
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