Centerfielder Jigger Statz played with the Chicago Cubs as a teammate of Pete Alexander from 1922-1925. Though Alex was past his prime, he still had some left in the tank.
In 1923 Old Pete had 22 victories and the fourth-highest WAR among National League pitchers. He posted a career-best 0.9 walks per nine innings to lead the league. His 1.108 WHIP also paced NL hurlers.
The following season, Alexander received votes in MVP balloting though he made only 20 starts. In 1925 he once again led the NL in walks/9 and won 15 games.
In this handwritten letter Statz gives his thoughts on Alexander. “I was extra lucky to play center field behind Grover Cleveland Alexander who I think was the greatest control pitcher of all time.”
Interestingly, Statz served as technical advisor for The Winning Team, a biopic of the 373-game winner. Ronald Reagan starred as Alexander with Doris Day playing Old Pete’s wife in the Warner Brothers production.
During his professional playing career, Jigger Statz tallied 4,093 hits. That figure is surpassed only by Pete Rose, Ichiro Suzuki, Ty Cobb, Henry Aaron and Derek Jeter.