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Christy Mathewson

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Christy Mathewson

Christy Mathewson

Personal Info
Birth August 12, 1878, Factoryville, Pennsylvania
Death: October 7, 1925, Saranac Lake, New York
Professional Career
Debut July 17, 1900, New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Superbas, Washington Park
Team(s) As Player

New York Giants (1900-1916)
Cincinnati Reds (1916
As Manager
Cincinnati Reds (1916-1918)

HOF induction: 1936
Career Highlights
  • 373 career wins (3rd all-time)
  • 2.13 career era (8th all-time)
  • 1.059 career whip (5th all time)
  • Won 20 games or more 13 times, won 30 games or more 4 times.
  • Pitched 79 shutouts (3rd all time)
  • Won NL Pitcher's Triple Crown in 1905 and 1908

Christopher "Christy" Mathewson (August 12, 1878 - October 7, 1925), nicknamed "The Big Six", "The Christian Gentleman", or "Matty", was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played in what is known as the dead ball era and in 1936, was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was one of its inaugural members. Christy and John N. Wheeler wrote Pitching in a Pinch, and the book was published in 1912.

Early life Edit

Mathewson was born in Factoryville, Pennsylvania and went on to attend Bucknell University. At Bucknell, he served as class president and played on the school's football and baseball teams.[1]

Minor league career & early major league career Edit

In 1899, after Christy left college, he signed to play professional baseball with Taunton of the New England League. The next season, he moved on to play on the Norfolk team of the Virginia-North Carolina League. He finished that season with a 20-2 record.[2]

In July of that year, the New York Giants purchased Matty's contract from Norfolk for $1,500.[3][4]. Between July and December of 1900 Mathewson appeared in six games for the Giants. He started one of those games and compiled a 0-3 record. Displeased with his performance, the Giants returned him to Norfolk and demanded their money back.[5]

Major league career Edit

Later that month, the Cincinnati Reds drafted Christy in the rule v draft. On December 15, 1900, Christy was traded by the Reds to the Giants in exchange for Amos Rusie.[6]

During his 17-year career, Mathewson won 373 games and lost 188. His career ERA of 2.13 and 79 career shutouts are amongst the best all-time for pitchers. He had recorded 2,502 career strike outs against 844 walks. Matty's Giants won the 1905 World Series. That series, he won three games, all of which were shutouts.[7] The series capped an impressive year for Mathewson as he had already won the National League Triple Crown for pitchers. He claimed the Triple Crown again in 1908, and by the time he left the Giants, the team had captured four more National League pennants. This was in addition to the aforementioned 1905 appearance in the World Series.[8]

On July 20, 1916, Matty's career came full circle when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with fellow future Hall of Famer Edd Roush. He won one game with the Reds and served as their manager for the next three seasons.

Post-playing career Edit

In 1918, Christy Mathewson enlisted in the United States Army for World War I. He served overseas as a Captain for that year. During a training exercise he was accidentally gassed and consequently developed tuberculosis.[9] Although he returned to serve as a coach for the Giants from 1919-1920, Christy spent a good portion of that time upstate fighting the aforementioned illness.[10] In 1923, Mathewson got back into professional baseball when he served as part-time president of the Boston Braves. Two years later, Christy died in Saranac Lake, New York at age 47 during the 1925 World Series. He is buried at Lewisburg Cemetery in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Trivia Edit

  • Along with Henry Mathewson, he holds the major league record for combined wins by brothers playing for the same team: Christy 373, Henry 0.
  • His jersey, denoted as "NY", has been retired by the Giants.
  • In 1999, he ranked number 7 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranking National League pitcher.
  • ESPN selected his pitching performance in the 1905 World Series as the greatest playoff performance of all time[11].
  • Christy Mathewson Day is celebrated as a holiday in his hometown of Factoryville, Pennsylvania, on the Saturday closest to his birthday.

References Edit

  1. Historic Baseball website
  2. Baseball Library website
  3. Baseball Reference website
  4. Baseball Library website
  5. Baseball Library
  6. Baseball Reference website
  7. Baseball Library website.
  8. Historic Baseball website
  9. Historic Baseball website
  10. Baseball Library website

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Ivey Wingo
Cincinnati Reds Manager
Succeeded by:
Heinie Groh
Major League Baseball | MLB All-Century Team

Nolan Ryan | Sandy Koufax | Cy Young | Roger Clemens | Bob Gibson | Walter Johnson | Warren Spahn | Christy Mathewson | Lefty Grove
Johnny Bench | Yogi Berra | Lou Gehrig | Mark McGwire | Jackie Robinson | Rogers Hornsby | Mike Schmidt | Brooks Robinson | Cal Ripken, Jr. | Ernie Banks | Honus Wagner
Babe Ruth | Hank Aaron | Ted Williams | Willie Mays | Joe DiMaggio | Mickey Mantle | Ty Cobb | Ken Griffey, Jr. | Pete Rose | Stan Musial

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