A Dozen Things You Should Know About Dale Alexander

Dale Alexander while with Detroit

Dale Alexander while with Detroit

1. David Dale Alexander was born in Tennessee in 1903.

2. His father was a local baseball player and tobacco farmer. The son did not immediately follow in his Dad’s footsteps, but attended and graduated from Milligan College. He played baseball there and at Tusculum College in Greenville, his hometown. Frankly I’ve been unable to find out how the managed that. There is no evidence he went to Tusculum after graduating from Milligan.

3. In 1924 the Tigers picked him up and sent him to Class D baseball in his hometown.

4. He moved around a lot in the minors, staying through 1928. He won a Triple Crown for Toronto in 1928.

5. Alexander was an instant star, hitting .343 and leading the American League in hits with 215 in his rookie campaign. He ended up with 137 RBIs, a then rookie record (it was surpassed by Ted Williams).

6. In 1931 he had 47 doubles, second to Earl Webb’s record 67 (and still the record), but his home run totals dropped from 25 and 20 to three.

7. He started slowly in 1932 and ended up being traded to the Boston Red Sox (interestingly enough for Webb). It seemed to rejuvenate him and he ended up hitting .372 for Boston. His aggregate average was .367 and he won the 1932 AL batting title.

8. In August, his fourth inning single proved to be the only hit off Wes Ferrell and spoiled Ferrell’s no hit bid.

9. On 30 May 1933 Alexander was injured sliding into home. His injured leg was left too long in a new heat treatment and was badly burned. He never recovered. For his five-year career his triple slash line is .331/.394/.497/.891 with an OPS+ of 129. He hit 61 home runs (45 of them in his first two years) in 811 hits, scored 369 runs, and had 459 RBIs. His Baseball Reference.com WAR is 15.6.

10. Between 1934 and 1942 he spent time in the minor leagues both playing and managing. His leg made it impossible for him to perform at Major League level, but he did well at AA level and lower.

11. In 1949 he became a scout for the New York Giants. He remained there through the 1950s and is the scout who discovered Willie McCovey.

12. He died in 1979.

Alexander's grave (from Find a Grave website)

Alexander’s grave (from Find a Grave website)

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5 Responses to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About Dale Alexander”

  1. The Baseball Bloggess Says:

    How many things I knew about Dale Alexander before this morning? I’m pretty sure 0.

    Now? 12. And, if he’s the guy who discovered Willie McCovey … I’m going to forget that he was ever a Red Sox and remember him fondly for McCovey. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. glenrussellslater Says:

    Me, too.

    Glen

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