On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1917
There will be cloudy skies over the city today with more snow. The Weather Bureau is predicting about an inch and a half of snow will fall. The temperatures will be slightly warmer with the high reaching 38° and the low about 20°.
Philadelphia sports fans and most especially baseball fans are reeling from the news that Grover Cleveland Alexander and Bill Killefer are gone. The president of the Phillies, William Baker, made the announcement late yesterday afternoon. The two have been sold to the Chicago Cubs for somewhere between $75,000.00 and $100,000.00. Mr. Baker won’t say exactly how much he received. Supposedly two young Chicago players will also come here as part of the deal. Mr. Baker said the deal helps the whole league as it makes the Cubs a strong contender for the pennant. He did not mention how it helped the Phillies. He assured sports writers in New York, where he made the announcement, that the proceeds of the sale would be put into the Phillies organization. We must wait till April to see if the fans of this city will forgive him for sending two great players to a rival team.
Grover Cleveland Alexander made his major league debut with the Phillies on April 15, 1911. Over his 7 seasons with the team he won 190 games against 88 losses. He also recorded 61 shutouts. He threw 16 of those shutouts in 1916 and 8 in 1917. Also in 1917 he appeared in 44 games and compiled a record of 30 wins and 13 losses with 200 strikeouts and an earned run average of 1.83. There is little doubt that “Old Pete”, as his teammates call him, certainly led the team to the pennant in 1915 and kept them competitive in both 1916 and 1917. He is one of the best pitchers in the game today and perhaps one of the greatest of all time. And now he will play for Chicago.
Old Pete’s battery mate, catcher Bill Killefer, was sent with him. Killefer also started with the Phillies in 1911. He and Alexander struck up a grand friendship which was evident on the field. Killefer also contributed with his bat during his stay here. Last year he appeared in 125 games and hit .274 with 31 RBIs, 12 doubles and 112 singles.
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