Christy Mathewson

Birthdate 08/12/1880
Death Date 10/7/1925
Debut Year 1901
Year of Induction 1936
Teams Giants, Reds
Position Pitcher

Christy Mathewson is the only man in history to rank in the top 10 all-time list in wins & ERA. He was part of the 1936 original induction class.

In the collection:

Rare signed image of Christy Mathewson

Rare signed image of Christy Mathewson

This book photo is signed by the Christian Gentleman, one of the first five inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. With 373 wins and a microscopic lifetime earned run average of 2.13, Mathewson was elected in the very first Hall of Fame election of 1936. His autograph is much sought-after and especially difficult to locate as he died 1925.
Letter from then-NL President Ford Frick to autograph collector who requested Mathewson's signature

Letter from then-NL President Ford Frick to autograph collector who requested Mathewson's signature

Collectors of Hall of Fame autographs got started early. In this letter National League President Ford Frick responds to a fan’s request about obtaining a Christy Mathewson signature. The letter is dated August 2, 1939, less than two months after the Hall’s first induction ceremony on June 12, 1939.
Horace Stoneham letter to a collector who requested Christy Mathewson's autograph

Horace Stoneham letter to a collector who requested Christy Mathewson's autograph

The same autograph hound who received the letter shown in the preceding image  continued his search for a Christy Mathewson autograph. Dated 23 years after the previous correspondence, this letter is from Giants owner Horace Stoneham who writes, “I regret we haven’t anything here with Christy
Judge Landis praises Christy Mathewson

Judge Landis praises Christy Mathewson

Christy Mathewson retired in 1916 with 373 wins and remained on the minds of baseball fans and the American public alike. The legendary hurler was among the inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1936. Five years after Matty’s retirement Baseball Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis wrote this
Closeup of the Amos Rusie signature on a 1940 government postcard

Closeup of the Amos Rusie signature on a 1940 government postcard

John T. Brush owned the Reds while eyeing the Giants. After the 1900 season, Brush as Reds owner “traded” Christy Mathewson straight up for the sore-armed Amos Rusie who hadn’t pitched since 1898. Bush sold his share in the Cincinnati club and bought the Giants for whom
Reverse of Amos Rusie signed GPC with 6/1/1940 postmark

Reverse of Amos Rusie signed GPC with 6/1/1940 postmark

Government postcards provide aid to authenticating autographs. Collectors would send a postcard to the desired target. When the autograph returned in the mail it would contain a postmark verifying the exact date and place from where it was mailed. This postmarked reveals a June 1st, 1940 mailing fro
Mathewson calls Tuxedo,

Mathewson calls Tuxedo, "good, honest, companionable tobacco" in this original ad from 1916

Tuxedo Tobacco pulled together the greatest baseball players of the day for this advertisement. Hailing itself as, “The Perfect Pipe Tobacco”, Tuxedo secured the services of Christy Mathewson, manager of the Cincinnati Reds. According to the advertisement,

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954