In this letter, dated 1986, Happy Chandler thanks commissioner Peter Ueberroth for helping former player Paul Derringer who pitched in the 1930s and 40s. The cause of helping the, “major league players of yesterday”, as Chandler put it, was near and dear to his heart. The commissioner formed a pension plan for players that was enacted February 1, 1947.
Chandler goes on to recall with a sense of sadness that Pete Alexander and Dazzy Vance fell on hard times in retirement.
“After their brilliant careers they were playing one night stands with the House of David Baseball Team. I thought that this was a tragedy, and made up my mind that if I ever had an opportunity, I would undertake to get a pension fund for the Major League players…”
Chandler mentioned this episode of Alexander and Vance in his induction speech.
Though Alexander pitched in the big leagues until he was 43, he left the game with no other job skills and little hope of earning income. Plagued with epilepsy, Alexander found work playing with the House of David baseball team, a bearded bunch of folks who would travel town to town to play exhibitions.