Wicked Curve

The Life and Troubled Times of Grover Cleveland Alexander


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SKU: 9780786424122 Categories: , ,

About the Book

When in 1911 Phillies pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander set the National League record for wins by a rookie (28), it was a sign of things to come. Alexander went on to win 373 games over his 20–year career, the third highest total in major league history, and he would lead the league in ERA four times, shutouts seven times, complete games six times, and wins six times. But he also became a deeply troubled man. After the Shell-Shocked pitcher returned from World War I, he would battle alcoholism, epilepsy, and personal demons that damaged his reputation and proved disastrous for his life outside of baseball.
This biography sheds new light on the pitcher and the man, focusing on Alexander’s personal life, especially his complex relationship with his wife, Aimee, as well as their marriages and divorces. His Hall of Fame career, wartime service, and long decline are also documented.

About the Author(s)

John C. Skipper, a political reporter for the Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette, has written numerous books on politics and baseball, including a history of the The Iowa Caucuses and acclaimed biographies of Grover Cleveland Alexander, Dazzy Vance and Charlie Gehringer.

Bibliographic Details

John C. Skipper
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2412-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8178-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Alone in a Crowd      3
2. A Stone’s Throw Away      9
3. A Big League Pitcher      21
4. A Pennant Flies in Philadelphia      40
5. Nobody Does It Better      56
6. The Changing of the Uniforms      63
7. The Cub Years      78
8. Managerial Merry-Go-Round and McCarthy      98
9. A Strikeout for the Ages      110
10. Forty Years Old and Counting      124
11. The End of the Road      136
12. When the Cheering Stopped      145
13. The Long Road Downhill      152
14. Brother Can You Spare Me a Dime?      166
15. The Last Hurrah      176
16. Coming Home      186
17. Bottom of the Ninth      198

Appendix: Lifetime Statistics      211
Notes      213
Bibliography      223
Index      231

Book Reviews & Awards

“absorbing…Skipper has done an admirable job…Wicked Curve deserves its place on the bookshelves of the serious lover of baseball history. The book is thoroughly researched and…is written with the aplomb expected from a professional journalist. Most of all, Skipper writes with sympathy about a man who lived during an unforgiving era with ‘the epilepsy that he tried to hide and the alcoholism that he could no longer hide’”—Nine; “Skipper is a seasoned baseball researcher and writer…an easy read…worthy”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter.