Shell shocked and exposed to mustard gas during World War I, veteran pitcher Pete Alexander resultantly suffered from epilepsy, which was often mistaken for drunkenness throughout his Hall of Fame career. Plagued by seizures and alcoholism for the remainder of his life, Alexander composed this letter shortly before his death. With the correspondence and postmark dated “MAR 1 1948,” Alexander answered a fan’s request in his native Nebraska. Composed in graphite pencil on both sides of a blank page measuring 7-1/8 x 10-3/8”, the letter reads (in part):
“Dear Cal and Niece
Sure glad to have your letter of the 25th, and just why I am away out here I just can’t say.
I have not been at all well and do not know if it is the weather or the high altitude or just what is wrong. It snowed again last night and today it is trying to rain and perhaps tomorrow it will feel like summer.
As I don’t know when I will go from here.
Your Pal Uncle Dode
Santa Fe New Mexico”
On the return address portion of the envelope, Alexander has inscribed “GA” in graphite pencil (“6-7” strength). Also included is a 1954 handwritten letter from Alexander’s niece. This accompanied the above-mentioned correspondence (as well as a vintage 2-7/8 x 3-5/8” black-and-white photo of Alexander) in complying with an autograph request. In her letter, Alexander’s niece explains how he had signed the letter “Dode,” as that was a longtime nickname given by his younger brother.
Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA, attesting to the authenticity of Alexander’s handwritten letter and envelope.