It was a sad Christmas Eve in 1949 for Hall of Fame former Cardinals pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander who was found unconscious in a Hollywood, Calif. alley.
Ol' Pete played his last game in 1930 and inexcusably wasn't balloted into the Hall of Fame until 1938 despite winning 373 games with the Athletics, Cubs, Cardinals and Phillies. His victory total ranks third in major league history.
Alexander, who made his major league debut in 1911 with 28 wins, pitched in only three contests in 1918 as he headed to Europe to serve in World War One as an artillery officer. When he returned from the war a victim of seizures and his drinking habit developed into a drinking problem.
The legendary pitcher who led the Cardinals to victory in the 1926 World Series died nearly penniless 10 months after the Christmas Eve incident on Nov. 4, 1950 in his home state of Nebraska.