Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alexander the (briefly) great

A while back I saw a note that Austin Jackson was only the second Tiger in history to collect at least one hit in 36 of his first 43 career games. The other was Dale (Moose) Alexander in 1929. Who was Alexander, I wondered. A briefly incredible and yet now-forgotten player, it turned out.

Alexander, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound first baseman, was considered by some as a right-handed hitting Babe Ruth. He led the AL with 215 hits in 1929 as a rookie, batting .343-25-137. His 137 RBI were a rookie record at the time. Baseball Digest in 1975 named Alexander the all-time rookie first baseman. Alexander led the AL in hitting (.367) in 1932 and finished his brief 5-year career with a .331 BA. His lifetime OPS was .891 and his career OPS+ was 128.

His career was cut short by a leg injury made worse by some kind of heat therapy gone awry.

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