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The Big Six Chronicles

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  • #16
    An outlaw league was nothing to baseball during this time. Though unheard of today (the last attempt was the Continental League of the 1960s), baseball had seen five leagues since 1876, two of which folded after a year. In those pre-Commissioner days, the leagues were quite independent of each other. Today the leagues are really just geographical conferences, but there was a time when American League affiliates almost never interacted with the National League and vice-versa. Hence McGraw’s refusal to play Boston in 1904. The interleague, “we’re all playing the same sport” mentality didn’t come into play until much later.
    New leagues were always regarded by purists as: inferior, financially insecure, built solely on greed, or a combination of those. Players were discouraged from joining the Union Association of 1884 with threats of being blacklisted from their league, a hefty threat since the UA was predicted to collapse quickly. It did after one season. An result of early labor disputes, the 1890 Players’ League also lasted one season. Owners were too hesitant to fund the league’s exploits despite the prominent players it boasted from the National League. The 1901 American League was no different; the likes of McGraw believed it was a poor version of baseball only functioning because of its ransacking of the NL.

    A Federal League consisting of eight more clubs followed suit. Stars like Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson were tempted by lucrative offers. McGraw was offered a whopping 100,000 dollars to manage. These offers fell through, but others were enticed. Youngster Edd Roush fled from the White Sox for a 500 dollar increase. Eddie Plank and Three Finger Brown doubled their salaries. Chief Bender received an undetermined amount from Baltimore. At 12,000 a year, Joe Tinker nabbed a managing position for the Chi-Feds.

    The raids of talent continued in the 1913 offseason. However, the FL had yet to secure respect. Picking up Matty would do just that. Speculation of his thoughts ran wild even though Matty never voiced the urge to ditch New York. Age and overused took their toll, but diehard Giants fans believed the tired Matty wouldn’t jump for the sake of money, at least not now. It wouldn’t have been unreasonable for him to secure a spot in the future, perhaps in five or so years. The Federal League disbanded well before that time.

    Matty stuck to the New York, a place he’d grown almost as fond of his hometown Factoryville. Besides, he was already making 12,000 a year for a team destined for a fourth straight pennant. In July, this looked to be the case for the first-place Giants, a sight becoming as usual as McGraw’s on-field tantrums. Shortly after, the Giants’ pitching toppled over. Matty retained a steady workload at a fatigued pace. Drawing a walk was still out of the question, but batters were beginning to throttle his failing fastball. Throwing past the first few innings became more difficult than ever. Matty tried to compensate by pitching to contact, a tact that worked in younger years when the pitches zipped quicker. A sterling 24-13 record didn’t reflect the pounding he took in 312 innings: a 3.00 ERA and league-leading 104 ER and 16 homers.

    Staff deficiences by Marquard (12 straight losses after a 21-inning bout against Pittsburgh) as well as Al Demaree caused the Giants to drop the pennant as they were running with it. The Miracle Braves took it instead. On the bright side, an 84-70 record proved the strength of New York. A pennant can’t be won every year.

    Then again, most of the losses came after July. If there were ever any stubborn doubts against Matty’s decline, there weren’t anymore.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


    • #17
      Good stuff here. I think of Mathewson every time I cover a Bucknell University football game for my TV station. I work part time for them and I live just 25 miles away, so I get that gig every time they are at home. There is a large plaque of him at the stadium, much like what you see at Yankee Stadium on the wall. His is on a large pedestal and is at an angle. The team is not very good, but the field is nice and the people there are fantastic, from the game day crew to the alumni to the fans to the players.

      October 22, 2011Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 13,100)Lewisburg, PABucknell Bison vs Holy Cross CrusadersFinal Score: 13 – 16 . On a chilly, cloudy late October day it was off …
      Your Second Base Coach
      Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
        Good stuff here. I think of Mathewson every time I cover a Bucknell University football game for my TV station. I work part time for them and I live just 25 miles away, so I get that gig every time they are at home. There is a large plaque of him at the stadium, much like what you see at Yankee Stadium on the wall. His is on a large pedestal and is at an angle. The team is not very good, but the field is nice and the people there are fantastic, from the game day crew to the alumni to the fans to the players.
        I believe they have a stadium named after him at Bucknell, too
        "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


        • #19
          The 1915 season reassured the doubts for Matty. It was his worst year ever and the first since his debut as a 19 year-old that he couldn’t muster more than 200 innings. Despite the lack of play, he still allowed the most home runs. Watching him on the field looked differently. Other than his control, everything was becoming a more visible struggle.

          Matty contribute only slightly to the massacre that was 1915 for the Giants. Miserably finishing in dead last, New Yorkers winced at every defeat their beloved Giants gained as fans of such a team would be inclined. No matter what McGraw tried, he failed to revitalize the club he had led to three consecutive pennants, almost a fourth the year prior. Pitchers performed so poorly that McGraw hastily traded Marquard while starting a lot of new talent. Other than the sturdy Jeff Tesreau, the other regular starters flopped.

          The plunge from first to worst hit the team hard. Owners of the day fretted over team morale because of its effects on revenue. The 1915 disaster did not differ for the suits heading the Giants club. Their fading star and sudden plummet greatly hurt the Giants’ appeal. McGraw had grown considerably old for a man not yet 50. Prone to bandwagon fans, a sense of disinterest clouded the Giants. Losing a pennant to the lowly Phillies brutally damaged the disruptive, egotistical aura of the Giants. Though their unruly conduct was once part of the attraction, some fans were growing weary of it. On October 1st of the previous year when the Braves were sure to take the pennant, the Giants’ took to harassing umpire Bill Klem mostly to disrupt the Miracle Braves’ time of glory. Not a man to be trifled with, and not coaxed by his dealings with the Giants over the years because of McGraw and Roger Bresnahan, Klem outright ordered the Giants’ bench off the field, a group including Matty. It isn’t certain which players partook in the mayhem, but the fact that the team engaged in it was a clear sign of poor sportsmanship.

          A lot of these facets would have slid by had it not been for the growing popularity of the Yankees. Calls for more intercity exhibition games increased. They Giants were the obvious victors of skill, but the lesser need to show off their machoism and play a sophisticated game impressed those fans tired of the McGraw circus. There was also the growing concern for nonbaseball affairs; a raging war in Europe recruited more participants as time passed. Soon enough, one of these participants would be America.

          For Matty, he was coping with his fate. If the Giants were to unwind at the tail end of his glorious career, he couldn’t complain too much. His otherworldly run as a pitcher established his name in baseball lore. He had also gained a reputation as a champion at checkers, a great partner in cards, a motivating leader, and a wonderful friend full of fiscal responsibility. McGraw wanted his friend to stick around if not as a pitcher then as a coach or executive of some sort.

          Throbbing pains nagged Matty whenever he threw. Even with a winter of rest, his arm wasn’t cooperating. The streaky 1916 Giants began the season 1-13 then proceeded to win a record seventeen contests in a row. McGraw believed that 1915 had been a fluke and that the Giants, now benefiting from players of the folded Federal League, would return to their rightful place as victors. Benny Kauff of the FL’s Brooklyn Tip-Tops provided a needed spark to the offense. Pitching duties were handed out whenever McGraw saw fit as opposed to a fixed rotation. On paper, Matty looked to be his old self. Reality begged to differ. The arm was sapped of its strength. Mustering four complete games out of six games started took everything in him. McGraw hated to see his friend go, but he knew the time was coming.

          Over the years, Matty had expressed interest in managing a club. McGraw, looking to help his friend and his team, reluctantly granted Matty his wish. The Reds were stunned when McGraw pushed for a blockbuster trade involving Cincinnati’s Buck Herzog and Red Killefer for New York’s Bill McKechnie, Edd Roush, and the Golden Boy, Christy Mathewson. As the New York Times reported on July 17th, Matty’s interest in managing complemented a need to stay in baseball. Better yet, it would also challenge his wits, something Matty always sought. Of course his version was much more modest:

          “...managing has its worries and big responsibilities; but anything that would permit me to stay in baseball interests me, for I am too much attached to it to want to get out. Then again, trying to build up a ball team, getting the men and seeing the develop into a good team as they expand and acquire team work, presents an exceedingly interesting occupation and one I should like to try.”

          The article went on to express the sentiment felt by teammates, though it could be said for most everyone: no one wanted Matty to leave. He had been the Giant’s giant for too long. Embedded in his assortment of pitches, tricks, control, and sophistication was the accomplishments of an organization troubled at the turn of the century: Five pennants (almost six), a World Series title (nearly one or two more), a heightened fan base, and assertion of New York’s place in baseball. Matty alone won 372 games for McGraw. Leaving proved quite difficult for the emotions, but everyone rejoiced in the lighter side of the bittersweet moment: Matty would fulfill a duty to manage.

          Ray Robinson paints the scene of Matty’s departure. As the players watched their leader pack up everything in the locker room, silence descended. Clanging equipment replaced the usual noise of voice. Matty was to begin a three-year tenure on July 21st, a contract written by himself for Reds’ manager Garry Herrmann. Every player, from longtime pals to the newly acquired, was given a heartfelt farewell. Great leaders leave in the greatest fashion. If every American alive in 1916 propped himself upon those splintered benches of the locker room, they too would have tumbled into the same sorrowful pit gaping below the very earth on which the clubhouse rested. Matty, so used to being strong for his team, took his turn as the one in need of strength. Ferdie Schupp asked for a final hand of cards.

          Trembling Matty nearly broke down. The tears were welling. All he had accomplished as a simple boy from a mining town in rural Pennsylvania hit him. That same boy may have still been inside Matty, hiding in the man accustomed to the pressure spots on the nation’s largest stage in a booming metropolis. He turned to Schupp and said, “I don’t know whether I want to become the manager of another club or not. This locker is the only one I’ve ever had in my life.”
          The moment passed, for Matty decided to play one more hand to “break the morose mood,” as Robinson puts it. “A few players pretended to be dealing cards. Matty stood and watched this charade for several minutes. But not a single card [had been] played.” Once more, in typical Matty fashion, captain of captains, he would play the role as supporter, even in this sensitive time where it was he who needed the friend to hug.

          Sportswriter Ring Lardner had always been the biggest enthusiast for Matty. He published a short poem. It was one of those rare instances when a few words grazing by our ears fit the sentiment perfectly. It is a writer’s job to put how one feels in an expressed manner to be shared by everyone else. I strive for this every time I write something heavy, especially here at BBF. For all my dealings with Matty, Lardner captured him in a way that can never be outdone when he wrote about the captain solemnly leaving baseball as a pitcher:

          My eyes are very misty
          As I pen these lines to Christy
          Oh, my heart is full of heaviness today.
          May the flowers ne’er wither, Matty
          On your grave at Cincinatti
          Which you’ve chosen for your final fadeaway.
          "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


          • #20
            I am writing The Big Six Chronicles hoping everyone is enjoying them. As of this post, I am at the 1916 season where Matty is about to manage the Reds. I keep going back to the themes of Matty's intellect, role as a leader for teammates, and immortality. Of immortality, to ask someone in America, especially the New York portion, in 1920 if they knew who Matty was would be like asking if they knew which number came after four. A century after Matty's debut and what he did for the game is me polling modern Americans if they know who he was. To be considered as knowing Matty, they only needed to have heard of him and know he was a pitcher. I also chose though I assumed to be American (an immigrant from India won't know a 20th century baseball player).

            Of 92 random people surveyed, 6 knew Matty.
            Of 24 high school or college ballplayers, 2 knew Matty
            Of 7 college professors of random fields, 2 knew Matty
            Of 15 former residents of New York, 3 knew Matty

            You'll occasionally hear a celebrity being "A-list" or someone watching a "B-movie." It's all grades upon which something is judged in significance. I too use this logic for anyone in history in terms of their historical impact. That's just how my methodical mind works.

            I consider anyone in history classified by 1) importance and 2) awareness. Importance x Awareness = Historical Impact. Awareness is more concrete. A figure makes the A-list if he/she is known (people are aware of) by 85% or more of a population. Again, knowing the figure means recognizing their name and knowing their area (George Washington was our first president, Winston Churchill led Britain in WWII/was a British prime minister, Napoleon Bonaparte was a French conqueror). Obviously the title doesn't have to be exact, but sufficient enough for a prudent person to realize the interviewee knows the figure.

            As mentioned, I consider a figure to be A-list if 90% or more of a population fits my definition of knowing them. Then it goes from B to F in order of descending awareness. I exclude "E" so the list resembles standard grading.
            A-list: 90% or more of a given population fits the definition of knowing the figure (George Washington and Barack Obama for Americans, Jesus for Christians [maybe the world], Elvis for musicians, Gandhi for Indians).
            B-list: 75-89% (maybe Harry Truman for modern Americans, Ho Chi Minh for modern Japanese)
            C-list: 40-74% (running out of possible examples. The Andy Griffith show for modern Americans?)
            D-list: 15-39% (Boris Yelstin for post-1960 Americans)
            F-list: under 15% (John Heder for Somalian farmers)

            Using this logic, Matty falls in the F-list. For all he did, he's an F-list historical figure, maybe as high as C in some places. I hope my efforts can bump him up just a little bit. I plan to use my writings elsewhere when I'm finished
            "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


            • #21
              Matty managed his first Reds game on July 21st, 1916, a loss to the Phillies in extras. Both sides warmly greeted Matty before the game. Hurling Matty into a troubled club boasting a 35-50 record was hardly a fair test for his managerial skills. Cincinnati really only expected him to improve the club to somewhere in the near-winning range. When he returned to New York days later to face McGraw for the first time ever, everyone forgot all lessons of mild conduct. Matty managed in a royal spotlight to everyone’s delight, defeating his former team 4-2. The Reds were now 2-2 since Matty’s tenure.

              The shaky Reds would prove to be a true challenge to Matty if he ever wanted one. Though always likable, it would take time to develop a relationship with the new faces. Defense plagued the team. Struggling pitching deterred offense. Among the Reds’ bats was Hal Chase, a clever cancer to the Reds. That is, Matty could always spot when Chase wasn’t in the mood to try his best, probably for gamblers. Such character didn’t sit well with a righteous soul like Matty. Proving his suspicions, on the other hand, would be difficult. Of all of Matty’s relationships in his lifetime, Chase would be an exception to the good-natured relations Matty fostered.

              One game stood out before the close of the Reds’ lowly 60-93 season finish. Matty chose to pitch one more time, ultimately removing him from the list of players exclusive to one franchise. In a very hyped game, Matty faced off against his friendly competitor of lore, Mordecai Brown. The pitching itself was nothing stellar; the starters combined for 18 runs. As a testament to the undying majesty of their careers, both pitched the whole game. Matty won 10-8, his 373rd victory.

              New acquisitions in 1917 allowed Matty to bring the club to 78-76, a considerable deal better than they were used to in Cincinnati. The Giants won yet another pennant and lost yet another World Series, a stern reminder that Matty may have been correct in his assessment, as Ray Robinson points out, that McGraw’s total control of the field left players helpless in split-second decisions.

              Once again foiling Matty’s test as a manager, the club was losing ground. Raging conflicts in Europe had sucked America into the war. Players everywhere were reporting for duty, leaving managers sapped of proper men to field the diamond. This was a new challenge for teams because it was the first time a military conflict openly affected baseball. The 1918 season lost hundreds of players to the war, including Matty, who became captain of the Chemical Warfare Service in a war so bent on using inhumane concoctions to kill the opposition. Heinie Groh took over as manager for the final ten games of the season, shortened due to the war. The Reds ended with a 68-60 record. They also ended their ties with first baseman Hal Chase, picked up by McGraw after found innocent of many charges thrown at him by Matty and Reds’ owner Herrmann. NL President John Heydler found him innocent. Matty did succeed in revealing him as a crooked man to his teammates.

              Pitching continued to offset fine offensive performances by Hal Chase, Lee Magee, Heinie Groh, and Edd Roush. Thirty-three year-old Sherry Magee joined the team that year, posting fine numbers, too. However, Matty became exhausted with Chase’s inconsistencies. He grew increasingly aware of Chase, who sometimes talked privately with Sherry Magee, simply holding out. Matty’s firsthand veteran knowledge of on-field play made this possible. Down 17 games at a 25-35 record on June 30th, Matty felt it time take action when the opportunity presented itself.

              That opportunity arrived a month later when Matty discovered Chase may have attempted to bribe of Giants’ pitcher Pol Perritt. The allegation itself wasn’t grounds for suspension, but several weeks prior Reds’ pitcher Pete Schneider told Matty that Chase and Magee had consorted to throwing the game. That same game, Roush bombed a ball to center field. Magee had been on base and ran so slowly that Roush almost lapped him. Following the alleged bribe of Pol Perritt, Matty suspended Chase. Chase threatened a lawsuit which never came to pass. By the time Chase was found innocent, Matty had left for Europe’s “war to end all wars.”
              "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


              • #22
                Originally posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
                I believe they have a stadium named after him at Bucknell, too
                Bucknell's football stadium Second Base Coach talks about is named Christy Mathewson Stadium. The field is really nice. We played Lewisburg High School there my senior year. The locker room was pretty old school, small, but not terrible.
                "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”


                • #23
                  Wife Jane wanted Matty to stay home and continue the blissful managing of a baseball club. As much as Matty tried to soothe his wife’s nerves, she simply didn’t want her husband trekking halfway across the world to greet the ghastly war. Whatever Matty used as reasoning eventually wore her down. It is uncertain whether or not he told her about his role in the Chemical Warfare Service, though Matty wasn’t one to lie to Jane. As Michael Hartley describes, Matty departed from a New York pier ten days after leaving Cincinnati. Teary Jane reluctantly let her husband go for the world that wasn’t America.

                  Matty reached France in an indisposed condition. Apart from seasickness, infected shipmates passed the illness on to most everyone on the ship, including Matty. Several days into training, Matty was hospitalized for over a week in Chaumont. Infectious diseases killed more troops in WWI than any pestilence either side could muster. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives in battlefield that was their own body.

                  Ten days of hospice care slightly rejuvenated Matty. When he returned for chemical instruction of troops, Captain Ty Cobb and Major Branch Rickey were among the group. Training the boys in chemical warfare reflected the nightmarish realities of WWI. Unsuspecting troops in full uniform entered an airtight pocket of hell. Then the instructors shot poisonous gases, usually mustard or chlorine, into the chamber. Troops were expected to immediately fit their clunky gas masks amidst the fearful screams, clambering bodies, and unnerved wits.

                  How Matty contracted a dose of poisonous gas remains clouded. What we do know is that Matty was accidently struck by gas sometime as a chemical instructor, forcing him to be readmitted to hospital care for the remainder of the war. Like everyone in that brutal conflict, Matty was never the same. The combination of flu and poison permanently devastated his athletic body. Only 38, his compromised health would allow age to quickly take its toll.

                  When he returned home on February 17th to the delight of his family, the McGraws, and baseball, Matty landed a new job. The New York Times reported that Matty looked “bigger and stronger than ever” and said he’d pitch right away if needed, though this must have been greatly exaggerated because Matty knew well that he was no longer fit to pitch. A reassuring line for readers, I suppose. Alongside Jeff Tesreau, Matty would coach the Giants for 1919 season. McGraw could hardly contain himself now that Matty had returned to New York and would be working with his lifelong pal once more. To the times, Matty took the usual calm, modest demeanor so characteristic of him:

                  “My contract with Cincinnati terminated before I left for France last I see no further use of instructing any one how to throw gas, I expect to ask for my discharge [from D.C.] and get back to civil life. The only persons I know of in need of gas are the umpires.”

                  Sadly, the same sophisticatedly humorous man who decreed that quip was not the same man of whom the nation fell in love with a decade ago. The wit never dried up, but the body did. Matty’s adventures as a pitcher and military captain left an obvious impression. Pallid hues replaced the once radiant features. Diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, Matty couldn’t escape a phlegmy hack. Everyone commented on how noticeably tired his hunched figure appeared. In one way, he was no longer the genuine Matty of the 1900s. He was Christopher Mathewson, a weary veteran of a sport whose body was stricken with ailments from a ravaging war.

                  The Reds Matty had left in good shape a year prior ended the season ahead of the Giants by nine games. Matty’s coaching lent a lot of help to New York, as did the permanent banishment of his enemy Hal Chase. Cincinnati would be the lesser of the combatants of the postseason. Charlie Comiskey’s unmatched White Sox readied themselves for the World Series for the second time in 3 years. We all know that story.

                  One of the journalists to unmask the Black Sox, Hugh Fullerton consulted Matty, hired by Evening World to write about the Series, for information regarding baseball gambling. He trusted Matty, as near every other writer did, for his writing intellect as well as his unbiased standpoint. Matty’s experience with big league gambling, his entanglements with Chase came to mind, solidified his status. Fullerton rounded up other writers to watch the series. Every play they believed suspect would be circled on their scorecard for comparison at the series’ conclusion (this line is distinctly spoken in the film Eight Men Out). Former ballplayer Matty represented the only veteran athletic authority.

                  Despite his intolerance for gambling, Matty regarded the Black Sox as desperate men who committed a wrong. To him, they weren’t the skulking breed of Hal Chase. Their gambling was neither chronic nor malicious. Based on his reaction, he was glad that none of the men saw prison time. Lengthy suspension was in order, but maybe not for life. A devout Christian, Christy extended a sense of forgiveness towards the fallen players.

                  Doctors told Matty that his cough had evolved to TB. His final years were as happy as he made them. Matty took to chess, checkers, nature walks, and plant studying to fulfill his otherwise boring life. Most men would’ve been defeated by the circumstances. Matty plugged away at his fight for the next two years, rejoicing when McGraw finally won another championship in 1921 against the equally popular Yankees, of all teams. Change had swarmed baseball since Matty’s time. Following the banishment of the Black Sox, people now looked to the long ball for excitement. Babe Ruth’s power game captured the minds of fans. Never really Matty’s weapon of choice, the spitball had been banned. Balls were to be replaced as soon as they were deemed too scuffed, yet another disadvantage to struggling pitchers. Relief pitching was decades away. For the next twenty years, pitchers would struggle an entire nine innings in very favorable batting conditions.

                  Fans did not forget Matty. Benefit games, fan letters, and auctioned merchandise all helped his already healthy financial situation. In 1920, he and his family were living at Sarnac Lake of very upper New York. Lush wilderness and open air allegedly purified those recuperating at the restful residence. At first, Matty weakly stayed in bed most of the time, undergoing treatments like lung-collapsing or fluid removal. His spirits never dulled, and by 1922 his situation had improved greatly, enough for Matty to disobey doctor’s orders and become president of the Boston Braves.

                  When 1925 came along, Matty and Jane permanently moved to Sarnac Lake. Being the Braves’ president was more of a title for Matty, growing frailer by the day. Visiting him was not allowed. Even the McGraw’s rarely got the chance to catch up with him. Fever, fluids, coughs, soreness, and weariness usurped the body of New York’s star pitcher. The endless resume didn’t matter for Matty by autumn of 1925. Only positive thinking could prolong his life.
                  "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


                  • #24
                    On October 8th, 1925, the second game of the World Series pitted the Pirates and the reigning champs, the Senators, against each other. Game one had gone to Washington. Before the game, thousands of spectators sang “Nearer My God to Thee.” Two days later, many prominent baseball authorities and former Giants attended a gloomy funeral. Sportswriters rained praise for the deceased. The entire nation stopped for at least one point in their day for a moment of silence.

                    Matty left the world two things on October 7th, 1925: his body and his legacy. He had been a loving husband, father, and friend. He had been a veteran of professional sports play and the United States Army. Teammates called him their captain. Fellow WWI soldiers called him “Captain.” To the press, he was “Matty” or “Big Six,” the man qualified to do anything from play in the ball field to manage it; to serve the army to head authorities. To Jane and Christy Jr., he was the expected assortment of husband/father names. To the present world of mine, he is, not was, the master Hall of Fame pitcher, captain, and human.

                    I could spend this paragraph highlighting all of the accomplishments that you now know from my little writing. Then I would tell you everything he left for baseball. I’d end it with a thoughtful statement of the themes of his life. Good writers who can masterfully craft words would do this. I will leave that job to them, for I am not a terrific writer able to string words together in such a way that they stick with you for the rest of the day. I’m a fan of Christoper Mathewson trying to inform readers of his life.

                    I want to inform readers that flaws did not skip Matty for the next guy. Like every character ever to contribute some worthwhile significance, there was the man, the embellishment by contemporary media, and the biography. The biography tells much more truth, but we can never truly know the man lost in the writing of others who base their writings on others.

                    What we do know is that he wasn’t perfect. He was susceptible to cursing, smoking, drinking, and bitter moods like the rest of us. “I wouldn't have married him,” said Jane when discussing the superficially decorated puritan that others described Matty as being. Some players like Smoky Joe Wood openly expressed annoyance at Matty’s unspoken belief that he was inherently superior, that he knew deep down his modesty, charm, intellect, and skill gave him more rights. Even McGraw could get annoyed when Matty decided to toy with the opposition in blowouts, pitching balls right down the middle.

                    Jane passed away in 1967, seventeen years after Christopher Jr., an amputee who managed to pilot planes in WWII. He died in a hospital after an explosion in his home caused by a gas leak. Jane lived a quiet life for the remainder of her days, maybe trying her best to resist tears in accordance to Matty’s his final words in this life on the night of October 7th:

                    “It is nearly over. I know it and we must face it. Go out and have a good cry. Don’t make it a long one. This is something we can’t help.”

                    ---Pictures and quotes to come-----
                    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


                    • #25
                      I'm having issues posting the pictures from Matty's alma mater, Keystone College. There are many rare pictures in this wonderful collection. If anyone can help me post them, that would be great.
                      "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


                      • #26
                        Thanks for the bump Tyrus, I don't remember reading this before.

                        Great job!
                        If the White Sox has not traded Sammy Sosa, they'd have probably won a few more World Series. (Chadwick)
                        Play the Who am I? game in trivia and you can make this signature line yours for 3 days (baseball signatures only!)

                        Go here for a link to all player links!

                        Go here for all your 1920's/1930's OF info


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
                          On October 8th, 1925, the second game of the World Series pitted the Pirates and the reigning champs, the Senators, against each other. Game one had gone to Washington. Before the game, thousands of spectators sang “Nearer My God to Thee.” Two days later, many prominent baseball authorities and former Giants attended a gloomy funeral. Sportswriters rained praise for the deceased. The entire nation stopped for at least one point in their day for a moment of silence.
                          I read many years ago an account of Walter Johnson learning of Matty's death just before a World Series game, at which point "Johnson grew pale and silent."
                          That scene has stuck in my head ever since.
                          "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
                            I read many years ago an account of Walter Johnson learning of Matty's death just before a World Series game, at which point "Johnson grew pale and silent."
                            That scene has stuck in my head ever since.
                            Do you remember the source?
                            "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
                              Do you remember the source?
                              I think it may have been The Ultimate Baseball Book, will take a peek at it when I get home (assuming my aging and addled mind can retain the reminder to do so).
                              What source????
                              "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson


                              • #30
                                Annual Christy Mathewson Day held Keystone, Matty's alma mater.

                                And who can forget Matty's interview with Keith Olbermann?
                                Last edited by Tyrus4189Cobb; 02-18-2016, 06:31 AM.
                                "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


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