St. Paul Kicks Off 23rd Annual Grover Cleveland Alexander Days

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ST. PAUL, Neb. -- The small town of St. Paul is celebrating its biggest weekend in honor of a local baseball hero.

Every year for one weekend St. Paul celebrates a man who retired to the small town after recording the 3rd most wins in a major league baseball career.

"We wanted a celebration that we could bring people to Saint Paul every Summer and so we thought what better way of honoring someone like important like Grover Cleveland Alexander and that's kind of how we got started and this is our 23rd year," said Carolyn Scarborough, the Chairman of Grover Cleveland Alexander (GCA) Days Committee and the Executive Director of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce.

Grover Cleveland Alexander was a pitcher in the major leagues for the Phillies, Cubs, and Cardinals. The 1926 World Series champ had 373 wins, 2,198 strikeouts and in 1938 was inducted into the Hall of Fame after a 20 year career.

After he retired, the Elba Native moved to St. Paul where he lived the rest of his life and was buried.

The weekend brings many into St. Paul, but it also brings in hundreds of venders who set up for the weekend.

"It's a community involved event and we like to be in the community as much as we can," said Rhonda Paczosa, the Manager of the St. Paul Pizza Hut.

The celebration even has a Grand Marshal who, like Grover Cleveland Alexander, is a Nebraska born former Major League pitcher.

Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Dwight Siebler said, "He's been an idol for many many years for most pitchers, especially in Nebraska. I remember when I was a young kid, Grover Cleveland Alexander was just the guy you looked up to."

The thousands of people who come to Saint Paul this weekend for the many events means lots of business for local shops and for vendors that come here for GCA Days.

"It's probably one of the biggest money makers for Saint Paul as far as bringing people into town and that type of thing. We have vendors down in the park and they come back year after year, they say its one of the best celebrations they've been to," said Scarborough.

Paczosa added, "Actually we do very well out here. I think it's convenient to have the trailers out here. The store's right down the street but it is definitely a convenience issue."

The vendors really succeed because they're one of the popular stops, but the time is really just about St. Paul locals spending time together.

GCA Committee member Chris Dethlefs said, "I think the park, going to the vendors and just visiting with people. You'll just be amazed at the people that will come back and you'll get to see walking through the cars, I mean that's the most attendance."

Dethlefs continued on to say, "Brings a lot of alumni back. Tonight there's probably about 4 or 5 different classes at different avenues in town having their class reunions, tomorrow also so it brings a lot of the alumni back, it brings a lot of local people from surrounding communities into the town."

For a detailed list for all events, click the link to the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Website and see the GCA Days Flyer 2014.