"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
A salute to the Phillies and to the memory of the only pitcher named for one president and played in a movie by another: Grover Cleveland Alexander:
Many men survived the war, but they didn't recover from it. One of the many cruel coincidences of the war is that it destroyed the two greatest National League pitchers of the Deadball Era, if not of the twentieth century, Christy Mathewson and Grover Cleveland Alexander.
Alexander spent seven weeks at the front under relentless bombardment that left him deaf in his left ear. Pulling the lanyard to fire the howitzers caused muscle damage in his right arm. He caught some shrapnel in his outer right ear…He was shell-shocked. Worst of all, the man who used to have a round or two with the guys and call it a day became alcoholic and epileptic, a condition possibly caused by the skulling he'd received in Galesburg. Alex tried to cover up his epilepsy, using alcohol in the mistaken belief that it would alleviate the condition. Living in a world that believed epileptics to be touched by the devil, he knew it was more socially acceptable to be a drunk…
The last two decades of Alexander's life are the picture of a man spinning out of control with nobody able to stop the free-fall...He shuffled around the country in an odyssey of odd jobs (including a stint recounting his strikeout of Lazzeri in a Times Square flea circus), cheap hotels, boarding houses, and the like…
Never meeting a batter he couldn't beat or a bottle he could, pursued by demons one can only imagine, Alexander was the cursed pitcher. #