One of the greatest pitchers to not throw a no-hitter was born 133 years ago today.
Grover Cleveland Alexander compiled a 373-208 record with a 2.56 ERA over a 20-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Ol’ Pete” threw five career one-hitters but was unable to keep a zero in the H column, at least as a starter. He came close on June 5, 1915, dominating the St. Louis Cardinals through 8⅔ innings when Cardinals shortstop Artie Butler popped a single into short center field. Alexander held on for a 3-0 complete-game one-hit shutout for his second one-hitter.
Alexander took a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Robins into the eighth inning 21 days later, but that one was broken up by a Zack Wheat single, resulting in another one-hitter. “Ol’ Pete” threw his fourth career one-hitter on July 5 of that season, then helped the Phillies clinch the National League pennant with his fifth one-hitter, marred onlt by a Sherwood Magee single in the fourth.
Alexander recorded a truly amazing save in an eight-inning no-hit relief appearance on May 13, 1911. He took the ball for the ninth inning in a Phillies-Reds game tied at 4 and kept Cincinnati hitless until his team won on a 16th-inning walkoff single by Pat Moran.