The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War

The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War

by Jim Leeke
The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War

The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War

by Jim Leeke

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Overview

Finalist for the 2022 SABR Seymour Medal

Grover Cleveland Alexander was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, with 373 career victories during twenty seasons in the Major Leagues. Elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938, the right-hander remains a compelling—and tragic—figure. “Pete” Alexander’s military service during World War I was the demarcation line between his great seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and his years of struggle and turmoil with the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals after the Great War. Indeed, Alexander’s service during World War I has all but been forgotten, even though it dramatically changed his life—and his game.

Alexander served in the 342nd Field Artillery Regiment, which included big leaguers and star athletes among its officers and men. Naturally, the regiment fielded an outstanding baseball team, but it also faced hard service during the final weeks of the war. After the armistice in November 1918, the unit undertook occupation duty in Germany.

The Best Team Over There examines this crucial period closely: where Alexander was stationed, how he was trained, how he withstood the effects of combat and shelling, how he interacted with his fellow athletes and soldiers, and how the war changed his baseball career, revealing for the first time the little-known details of this critical stage in the legendary pitcher’s life and career. We can’t truly understand Alexander and his enduring appeal to baseball fans without also understanding his life as a gunner and soldier.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496226396
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 03/01/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 280
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Jim Leeke is a retired copywriter and creative director as well as a U.S. Navy veteran. He is the author of several books, including From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball during the Great War (Nebraska, 2017), winner of the Larry Ritter Book Award and a SABR Baseball Research Award.
 
Jim Leeke is a former news journalist, retired copywriter and creative director, and a U.S. Navy veteran. He is the author of several books, including The Best Team Over There: The Untold Story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Great War (Nebraska, 2021) and From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball during the Great War (Nebraska, 2017).

Table of Contents

Prologue
1. Alexander the Great
2. Laddies from Missouri
3. Gridiron
4. Chicago
5. Fast Nine
6. Through a Door
7. Camp Funston
8. Camp Mills
9. Justicia
10. Camp de Souge
11. Pauillac
12. St. Mihiel
13. Euvezin
14. Armistice
15. The March
16. Occupied Germany
17. Safe at Home
18. Postwar
19. The Long, Long Trail
Acknowledgments
Appendix A: Selected Athletes of the 342nd Field Artillery
Appendix B: Composition of the 164th Field Artillery Brigade
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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